The Big Dipper

The Big Dipper is a grouping of stars within the constellation Ursa Major, also known as The Great Bear. The best time to view the Big Dipper is on a spring night when it is above the northern horizon. Look for the seven brightest stars of Ursa Major. Once you find these stars, you’ll see the "bowl" and "handle" that make up the Big Dipper.

Location: in the constellation Ursa Major
Shape: seven bright stars resembling a ladle when seen from Earth
Significance: one of the most recognizable groups of stars in the Northern Hemisphere
Distance: stars range from 68 to 631 light-years away from Earth

Image credits: main image: courtesy of AMNH; Frank Summers: AMNH.