Big Dipper

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Named Stars

This makes it useful in celestial navigation. The "bear" tradition is Greek, but apparently the name "bear" has parallels in Siberian or North American traditions. The name "Bear" is Homeric , and apparently native to Greece, while the "Wain" tradition is Mesopotamian. In Ireland and the United Kingdom, this pattern is known as the Plough. The symbol of the Starry Plough has been used as a political symbol by Irish Republican and left wing movements.

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Former names include the Great Wain i. In Romanian and most Slavic languages , it is known as the "Great Wagon" as well. In Finnish , the figure is known as Otava with established etymology in the archaic meaning 'salmon net', although other uses of the word refer to 'bear' and 'wheel'. In traditional Chinese astronomy , which continues to be used throughout East Asia e. Similarly, each star has a distinct name, which likewise has varied over time and depending upon the asterism being constructed. In Shinto , the seven largest stars of Ursa Major belong to Amenominakanushi , the oldest and most powerful of all kami.

In North Korea , the constellation is featured on the flag of the country's special forces. In South Korea , the constellation is referred to as "the seven stars of the north". In the related myth, a widow with seven sons found comfort with a widower, but to get to his house required crossing a stream. The seven sons, sympathetic to their mother, placed stepping stones in the river.

Their mother, not knowing who put the stones in place, blessed them and, when they died, they became the constellation. In Javanese , as known as "Bintang Kartika". In ancient Javanese this brightest seven stars are known as Lintang Wuluh , literally means "seven stars". This star cluster is so popular because its emergence into the sky signals the time marker for planting. In Hindu astronomy , it is referred to as the "Collection of Seven Great Sages " Saptarshi Mandala , as each star is named after a mythical Hindu sage.

An Arabian story has the four stars of the Plough's bowl as a coffin , with the three stars in the handle as mourners, following it. While its Western origins come from its resemblance to the kitchen utensil , In Filipino , the Big Dipper and its sister constellation Little Dipper are more often associated with the tabo , a hygiene tool akin to a bucket with a handle used ubiquitously in Filipino households and bathrooms. Within Ursa Major the stars of the Big Dipper have Bayer designations in consecutive Greek alphabetical order from the bowl to the handle.

In the same line of sight as Mizar , but about one light-year beyond it, is the star Alcor 80 UMa.

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Together they are known as the "Horse and Rider". At fourth magnitude, Alcor would normally be relatively easy to see with the unaided eye, but its proximity to Mizar renders it more difficult to resolve, and it has served as a traditional test of sight.

Al's Big Dipper

Mizar itself has four components and thus enjoys the distinction of being part of an optical binary as well as being the first-discovered telescopic binary and the first-discovered spectroscopic binary The two at the ends, Dubhe and Alkaid, are not part of the swarm, and are moving in the opposite direction. Relative to the central five, they are moving down and to the right in the map. This will slowly change the Dipper's shape, with the bowl opening up and the handle becoming more bent.

In 50, years the Dipper will no longer exist as we know it [citation required], but be re-formed into a new Dipper facing the opposite way. The stars Alkaid to Phecda will then constitute the bowl, while Phecda, Merak, and Dubhe will be the handle. Not only are the stars in the Big Dipper easily found themselves, they may also be used as guides to yet other stars. Thus it is often the starting point for introducing Northern Hemisphere beginners to the night sky :. The "Seven Stars" referenced in the Bible 's Book of Amos [20] may refer to these stars or, more likely, to the Pleiades.

In addition, the constellation has also been used in corporate logos [21] and the Alaska flag. It can be said the same thing about the seven stars pictured in the bordure azure of the Coat of arms of Madrid , capital of Spain. The asterism's prominence on the north of the night sky produced the adjective septentrional literally, pertaining to seven plow oxen in Romance languages and English.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the asterism.


For other uses, see Big Dipper disambiguation. Even to this day, millions look to the stars and constellations for fortune-telling and guidance.

Grease traps can stink, ruining your customers' meal. Big Dipper doesn't.

But constellations care not for the goings-on of earthlings. In many thousands of years, the constellations we know and place our faith in will no longer be around. That's because the stars that we see including our Sun are moving, orbiting about the massive center of the Milky Way Galaxy, which is brimming with bright stars and gigantic black holes. The stars in our sky aren't all moving at the same speeds or in identical directions, however. This means that in hundreds of thousands of years, the stellar pictures we know will be gone.

To me, the shape in 50, years will be more like that of a tadpole than a dipper.

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