Ursa Major, The Big Dipper, The Plough

On a clear night over my head in my garden I can clearly make out one of the major and probably most well known constellations, Ursa Major, one section of this is The Big Dipper or in the UK it’s also called The Plough.

Seven of the brightest stars, which are located in Ursa Major or the The Great Bear’s hindquarters and tail, form the big dipper.

I took the following photo last night using just my simple Canon IXUS500 camera with a setting of landscape/infinity focus together with a high ISO and a tungsten effect. I then had to import the image into Macromedia Fireworks in order to alter the brightness and contrast settings in order to get any sort of image out.

Big Dipper, The Plough

The image is not brilliant but if in the following image I overlay a line between the stars you can more clearly see the big dipper, or click on the image to see the full size.

Line Drawing Overlay of Big Dipper

I am looking forward to perhaps purchasing a decent SLR camera and trying that on the nights sky, perhaps a Canon EOS 350D, we will have to see.

After looking up Ursa Major I was amazed to find that M97, M108 and M109 are very close by, so next time I am out I shall have to remember to look out for them and report back.

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