Finding the North Star Polaris

The Big Dipper rotates around the North Star throughout the night and through the seasons. The last two stars of the Big Dipper, Merak and Dubhe, are called the "Pointer Stars ". A line from them passes near the North Star. The North Star is the last star in the handle of the Little Dipper. The Little Dipper is a dimmer constellation, and not all of of its stars are easy to find unless you have a dark site to observe from. Note that the handle of the Little Dipper has the reverse curve of the handle of the Big Dipper. The distance in degrees from the Pointer star and North star is about 28 degrees. See how to measure degrees with your hand. See: Measuring Degrees

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