Enjoying EarthSky? Subscribe.

221,450 subscribers and counting ...

Big Dipper before dawn

In the month of June, the Big Dipper is low in the sky before dawn.

View larger. | Big Dipper before dawn in late June, by Hope Carter.

View larger. | Big Dipper before dawn in late June, by Hope Carter. Visit her website.

Hope Carter in Martin, Michigan caught this shot around 5 a.m. on June 24, 2015. She wrote:

I was up very early this morning hoping to catch a glimpse of the northern lights, but they never showed. Instead I focused north and managed to get this shot of the Big Dipper.

You don’t have to wait until dawn to see the Big Dipper. On June evenings, Big Dipper is high in the north.

See the second star from the end of the Dipper’s handle? You can see in this photo – and in the sky – that there are two stars there. Can’t see it? View larger. The brighter of these two stars is called Mizar, and the fainter one is Alcor. They’re sometimes called “the horse and rider” and are one of the sky’s easiest-to-spot double stars. Read more about Mizar and Alcor.

Many did catch the northern lights this week. See this week’s aurora photos here.

Deborah Byrd

MORE ARTICLES