Finding the Big Dipper, the North Star, and the Little Dipper

Astronomy is fun for all ages. A good starting point is to locate the North Star and constellations in the night sky. Since the easist way to find the North Star is to locate the Big Dipper and then the Little Dipper, they can do this requirement pretty easily.

If you meet during the day, Scouts will have to do this at home on their own. To help them, give them a sheet to take with them explaining how to find the Big Dipper, the North Star, and the Little Dipper.

Printable copy of  Finding the Big Dipper, the North Star, and the Little Dipper

Finding the Big Dipper, the North Star, and the Little Dipper

  1. To locate the Big Dipper, look in the north sky.
  2. Look for a constellation that looks like a big ladle. See the picture in the printable  file for an example, but be aware that the orientation of the constellation might be different than shown in the picture.
  3. Imagine a line from the two stars at the end of the “bowl” of the Big Dipper.
  4. Follow that line to find the bright star at the end of the handle of the Little Dipper.
  5. That star is the North Star. The North Star always points to true north.

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