Kurt Zeppetello in Monroe, Connecticut wrote:
The Big Dipper is an asterism – a group of stars that form a recognizable pattern – made up of the seven brightest stars of constellation Ursa Major. It is one of the most popular asterisms in the Northern Hemisphere and has many astronomical features in its realm that most people aren’t aware of … including me, until recently.
There are 10 deep-sky objects – Messier objects – associated within this region. Late winter to spring is an excellent time to image or observe the Big Dipper and its associated objects, as it’s high overhead around midnight.
Eight of the ten Messier objects associated with the Big Dipper are galaxies, one is a planetary nebula, and one is a double star.
The photos below were captured with my modest equipment which consists of an 80mm refractor (Orion ED80) and a DSLR camera (Canon Rebel T3i – modified).
Thank you, Kurt!
Bottom line: Messier objects in the famous Big Dipper asterism.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.