Find the Big Dipper in the Big Bear
Big Dipper will be nearly overhead around 11:30 p.m. local daylight time
Look high in the sky toward the northeast this time of year and you can't miss the Big Dipper. Making out the Big Bear (Ursa Major) could prove a little more challenging. This map shows them at around 8 p.m. from mid-northern latitudes this weekend.
updated 3:35 p.m. CT, Fri., March. 20, 2009
Scholars are fairly sure that the oldest of our star groups trace back to the Mesopotamian peoples of five or more millennia ago. In fact, the creatures that were made into the ancient Western constellations are similar to those in the Bible. And there are hints that some are far older.
The fact that the Big Dipper, now nearly overhead for most northern observers at around 11:30 p.m. local daylight time, formed a bear to American Indians and to cultures of the Old World and Siberia suggests that our Ursa Major is a very ancient star pattern.