Home > Constellations, Ephemeris Program > 04/13/2015 – Ephemeris – The Big Dipper as seen from many lands

04/13/2015 – Ephemeris – The Big Dipper as seen from many lands

April 13, 2015

Ephemeris for Monday, April 13th.  The Sun will rise at 7:02.  It’ll be up for 13 hours and 22 minutes, setting at 8:25.   The Moon, 2 days past last quarter, will rise at 4:31 tomorrow morning.

The Big Dipper will be high in the east, nearly overhead at 10 p.m.  It is officially part of Ursa Major, the Great Bear.  Other cultures have different representations for this star group.  It’s the plough (plow), Charles’ Wain (Charlemagne’s Wagon), the Saucepan, or the Cleaver depending on the country.  It performs an invaluable service in pointing out other stars and constellations, especially the star Polaris the north star.  That star, which seems to hover over the north pole of the Earth can be found by using the two stars at the front of the bowl of the dipper to point to it.  And at our latitude of around 45 degrees north, the Big Dipper is always in the sky.  It is one of the circumpolar star groups that can be seen in any season.

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

Addendum

Right now in the spring the Big Dipper is nearly overhead pointing down to Polaris.  I’ve turned these upside down so the images make more sense.

Big Dipper or Sauce Pan

The Big Dipper or Sauce Pan. Credit: Bob Moler’s LookingUp program.

For runaway slaves fleeing northward at night it was their compass… “Follow the Drinking Gourd”

The Plow

The Plough or plow in American. Credit: Bob Moler’s LookingUp program.

Charle's Wain. The Plough or plow in American.    Credit: Bob Moler's LookinUp program.

Charles’ Wain. Credit: Bob Moler’s LookingUp program.

The Cleaver

The Cleaver. Credit: Bob Moler’s LookingUp program.

Do you know any others?

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