Finding the North Star



Using the Big Dipper to find the North Star

The easiest way to find the North Star (also called Polaris) is to first find the Big Dipper in the northern part of the sky. To find the North Star use the two stars that form the edge of the cup of the Big Dipper away from the handle. These stars are often called the pointer stars because when you line them up they point to the North Star. Follow an imaginary line through these two stars and this line will point you toward the North Star. The North Star is not a very bright star, so it might take some practice to find it easily.


Stargazing while camping can be fun & educational for the kids.  Being away from city lights allow millions & millions of stars to be seen.  With stargazing being just a fun way to enjoy those campfire nights, it’s important to teach the kids to find the North Star.  The North Star is a very important star because it is often used for navigation.  The North Star is almost directly above the North Pole & never moves in relation to the earth.  If you are ever lost in the wilderness or at sea, finding the North Star will give you  your north, south, east & west direction sense.



  1. John

    Is it true that the two dipper change position with the seasons? It seems like I heard that in the winter months the big dipper is facing down.

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