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06/18/2012 – Ephemeris – The Little Dipper

June 18, 2012 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, June 18th.  Today the sun will be up for 15 hours and 33 minutes, setting at 9:30.   The moon, 1 day before new, will rise at 6:03 tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow the sun will rise at 5:57.

11 p.m. is the best time now to spot the Little Dipper.  It is difficult to spot, being mush smaller and dimmer than the Big Dipper.  However it is the Big Dipper that points to it, by the two stars at the front of the bowl of the Big Dipper to point to the North Star Polaris, the star that doesn’t appear to move.  That is the tip of the handle of the Little Dipper.  The handle is seen in a curve of the stars upwards and a bit to the left to a small box of stars that is its bowl.  The two stars at the front of the bowl  are called the Guard Stars because they guard the pole.  The Little Dipper is not an official constellation, but is Ursa Minor the lesser bear.  To the Anishinabek native peoples of this area it represents a loon.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Little Dipper (Ursa Minor) and the Big Dipper (Ursa Major).  Created using Stellarium.

Little Dipper (Ursa Minor) and the Big Dipper (Ursa Major). Created using Stellarium.