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You have learned how to tell north, south, east, and west by the sun; but how can we tell these directions at night?

Ask someone to point out to you a group of seven bright stars in the north part of the sky. Some people think that this group of stars looks like a wagon and three horses; others say that it looks like a plow. These seven stars are called the Big Dipper.

The proper name of the group containing these seven stars is the Great Bear. The group was given this name because men at first thought it looked like a bear with a long tail. Find the two bright twinkling stars within the Big Dipper that are farthest from its handle.

A line drawn through them will point to another star, not quite so bright, called the North Star. The North Star is part of an asterism called the Little Dipper. The North Star is always in the north; so by it, on a clear night, you can tell the other directions at once.

If the Dipper asterisms and the North Star are readily visible where you live, go outside on a clear night and see if you can locate them.

Notebook Work:

1. Copy the sentence - Sailors out on the sea at night often find direction by looking at the North Star.

2. Draw the Little Dipper asterism and label the North Star.

3. Draw the Big Dipper asterism.

4. Draw the Great Bear (Ursa Major) constellation (which includes the Big Dipper asterism).