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Ura Major Minor Little Big Dipper

    John Deere
    Ura Major, Big Dipper, Ursa Minor, Little Dipper, The North Star, Polaris, The Pointer Stars, Merak, Dubhe, The Big Bear, constellation, Civil War, USA, Underground Railroad, Follow the Drinking Gourd, song, Canada, north, southern, night, stars, sky
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    Ura Major Minor Little Big Dipper

    Ura Major ( Big Dipper ), Ursa Minor ( Little Dipper ), The North Star (Polaris) & The Pointer Stars (Merak & Dubhe)

    The Big Dipper is an asterism that makes up part of the constellation of Ursa Major (The Big Bear). The Little Dipper is seen at the upper right & part of the constellation of Ursa Minor (The Little Bear). The North Star, called Polaris, is at the end of the dipper handle of the Little Dipper. The 2 stars at the end of the Big Dipper's bowl are called the Pointer Stars because a line drawn between them points straight to Polaris, the North Star. Their names are Merak & Dubhe. The Big Dipper & The North Star play an important & huge part in the story of the Underground Railroad which helped slaves escape in the southern USA before the Civil War by fleeing up north towards the country of Canada. The song titled, 'Follow the Drinking Gourd' was a coded song that gave directions on the escape route While traveling on their long escape trip, they could always tell which way was north by the location of the North Star which they could find by the pointer stars, Merak & Dubhe. 'Follow the Drinking Gourd' is also another nickname for the Big Dipper. The Big Dipper is a circumpolar asterism for most of the USA which means it stays above the horizon all night long as it rotates counterclockwise during the night, slowly around Polaris, due to the planet Earth's rotation. It's also  made up of very bright shining stars that is very easy to locate in the night sky.
    The Little Dipper is made up of lighter faint stars that don't stand out well, and not so easy to find.

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