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Tips to be an Excellent Stars Reader

Aug 17, 2007
The Indians used the star Alcor in the constellation Ursa Major (the Larger Bear) as a test for good eyesight. Whoever was able to see it had good eyes, and that holds true today.

Incidentally, Ursa Major and the Big Dipper, the seven principal stars within the constellation, make up one of the most striking groupings of stars. The constellation is easy to locate once you have memorized the form, and it can be very useful to you.

To find the North Star or Pole Star, let your eye travel along the imaginary line connecting Merak and Dubhe (see illustration) for five times the distance between these two stars. The North Star is at the end of this line. To be sure, it is not a brilliant star, but it stands directly in the north.

The Indians called the Big Dipper the "Seven People." The middle star of the handle, Mizar, was "the old squaw with a papoose on her back," and the papoose was Alcor.

The Big Dipper circles the North Star once every 24 hours. Therefore, as the night progresses, the constellation is always in a different position. When it has moved a quarter of a circle around the North Star, you know that six hours have gone by.

The position of the stars changes with the changing seasons. In the spring the constellations you see are different from those visible in the fall. However, you can see the North Star and the groups of constellations nearest it during the entire year. The surrounding stars form a constant circle around the North Star. If you hold the chart below so that the name of the present season is at the bottom, you will have a picture of the northern sky as it appears about 10 P.M. The little arrows indicate interesting formations you can see with the aid of a telescope:
D equals Double Star
C equals Cluster of Stars
N equals Nebula

The names in capital letters are constellations, and those in small letters are the brightest stars. Orion, the "hunter," is probably the most conspicuous constellation in the winter skies. It is also called the Northern Cross. The three central stars represent Orion's belt. The center star in the belt rises exactly in the east and sets in the west. It is in the south when Orion is standing erect in the sky. Depending on the season, you can locate a large number of constellations with the aid of the North Star if you follow the connecting lines shown in the illustration on the next page.

The brightest stars are indicated by number:
1. Aldebaran
2. Betelgeuse
3. Rigel
4. Sirius
5. Procyon
6. Castor and Pollux
7. Capella
8. Deneb
9. Altair
10. Vega
11. Arcturus
12. Spica
13. Regulus

The three kings who went to see baby Jesus had their way by following the sign of the star. If we can learn and studied about the sign of the star, we can also have some lead on where we are and where we are heading.
About the Author
Mitch Johnson is a regular writer for http://www.best-scopes-n-binoculars.com/, http://www.solidcamping.info/ , http://www.goodbudgetholiday.info/
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