Spring is the time of year when the Big Dipper is at its highest point in the sky, it's very bright and easily seen in CNY. 

During Spring time you can look up at the sky and see the stars, including the Big Dipper, late evening through May. There are fewer bright stars than in the summer or winter leaving the Big Dipper as the star of the show.

The seven stars of the Big Dipper are probably the most recognized, and they're hard to miss this time of year due to no dust in the sky. The Dipper is also part of a larger constellation called Ursa Major or the Great Bear constellation

You can use the Big Dipper to find the North Star. The Old Farmers Almanac says to find the two stars on the left of the bowl and follow the line down. They point to the North Star. It's just as bright as the stars in the Big Dipper and finding the North Star with this method is more accurate than a compass.

Did you know that other cultures don't consider the Big Dipper a ladle? They say it's a vehicle with wheels or a carriage. According to Space.com, it's called a Plough in the United Kingdom.

Take a look at the Big Dipper from photos taken right here in CNY.

Here are five facts about the Big Dipper via alltop.com:

  1. The Big Dipper isn’t a constellation. What?! Seriously. The formation is an asterism and part of the constellation Ursa Major.
  2. The Big Dipper is comprised of seven stars: Alkaid, Mizar, Alioth, Megrez, Phecda, Merak, Dubhe.
  3. In 50,000 years, the Big Dipper will change shape and face the opposite way.
  4. The Bible refers to the formation as “the seven stars” (Amos 5:8).
  5. In other countries, the Big Dipper is referred to as the Plough, the Saucepan, the Great Wagon, and the Big Bear.

Bonus Video:

[Information from Space.com and The Old Farmers Almanac]