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Science Projects or Science Experiments: Grades 3 & 4

Ursa Major (The Big Dipper), North Star (Polaris) and Ursa Minor



Ursa Major (The Big Dipper), North Star (Polaris) and Ursa Minor
A brief description of Ursa Major and instructions for using this important constellation to find Polaris, the North Star.
Find North using the Stars - Ursa Major/Polaris - Navigation without a Compass
On a clear night in the northern hemisphere, you can find north with a little bit of stellar constellation knowledge. If you can find the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) then it is simple to find the North Star (Polaris).
If you follow the imaginary line from the tip of the 'cup' of the Big Dipper, you will find The North Star.
Ursa Major will move and rotate across our sky throughout the year. You may look up one day and struggle to locate it because it'll be upside down, so just be aware of that.
And during the months of June through to October, Ursa Major lies very low on the horizon, so if you're standing at the base of a mountain or cliff face, your view of the constellation may be totally obscured. Likewise, if you're standing at the foot of a hill or in front bunch of trees, you'll encounter the same problem. So try to get to vast, empty, open ground if possible.



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