The Little Dipper

The Little Dipper is not easy to see.  If you find the Pole Star, then you have found the last star in the handle of the Little Dipper, but you have to look hard to see the rest of this faint constellation.

In this beautiful photograph of the Northern Lights, you can see the Big Dipper clearly.  Follow the line from the two stars forming the end of its bowl to find the Pole Star.  If you look very closely, you can see two or three faint stars arcing up and back toward the Big Dipper.  This is the handle of the Little Dipper.  The handle arcs toward two brighter stars that are called the Guardians of the Pole because they continually circle around the Pole Star.  The Guardians are the far end of the Little Dipper’s bowl.  The brighter of the two Guardians is called Kochab.  Around 400 B.C., Kochab was the Pole Star.