n MNASSA : Monthly Notes of the Astronomical Society of South Africa - Plough northwards, to the Big Dipper : deep-sky delights




Ursa Major, the Big Dipper or Big Bear, also known as the Plough, is essentially a northern constellation. (For the purpose of this article I will refer to this constellation by its more common name, the Big Dipper.) This constellation is only just visible low down on the northern horizon as we approach autumn here in the southern hemisphere but is totally invisible from positions further south. Thanks to my favourably situated northern observatory the greater part of the constellation's seven brightest stars, representing the shape of a Big Dipper, are visible to me as a bonus.


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