Wed 5 Jul, 2006 03:46 pm
Me and my dad got into a bet. he thinks that you can see the big dipper every night-but because the earth is tilted and the earth rotates... you can't right? the stars don't move. but we rotate and revolve-help!
You can see "the big dipper" anywhere in what we refer to as the northern hemisphere on any night when the atmosphere is free of clouds which would otherwise obscure your view. The "tilt" of the earth is 23 degrees (roughly), which is certainly not enough to ever "hide" Ursa Major from view in Missouri.
If anyone from the "Show Me" State doubts that, and the sky is not overcast (or you are not smack dab in the middle of downtown St. Louis), you can easily show them on any night of the year.
I'm not certain that Ursa Major can be seen below the Tropic of Capricorn, and i suspect it cannot. (The Tropic of Capricorn is an imaginary line which circles the glove 23 degrees south of the equator.) I'll see what i can come up with.
This page on the constellations of the Southern Hemisphere
does not list Ursa Major. I have found no definite statement, but i believe that it would only be visible year round in the northern hemisphere above the Tropic of Cancer.
I believe you are right. The big dipper and Cassiopea are circumpolar constellations. Most of the others are equatorial, and many of them get quite low in the sky in winter. Some just plain go away. I seem to recall that Orion disappears from most of the northern latitudes in the winter. Elsewhere, he just gets kind of low in the sky.
I grew up in Missouri. Was always able to easily find the big and little dippers if it wasn't cloudy. Didn't matter what time of year it was, it was always there. Sometimes a little lower than others, but most nights driving across I-70 towards St. Louis it was out the passenger window (southern sky) just above the tree line.
and everytime she saw it, she wished upon these stars" Starlight starbright, first stars I see tonight... I wish I may I wish I might.....have this wish I wish tonight.... I wish to be in a better and more beautiful place and I wish to meet my prince and live happily ever after..... so you see, when you wish upon a star... dreams come true....
roger, pretty sure it's the other way around--Orion is a winter constellation.
Cloudy tonight, username. Wait a bit, and I'll go look tomorrow.
Hmm, how did I miss this thread?
I live near the southern boundary of Mo, just north of 36 degrees.
Yes, both dippers are in plain view every night of the year, withstanding cloud cover. If the conditions are right I can see the big dipper in broad daylight as well..faintly of course, but she's always up there. I was just discussing this very subject with the wife about a month ago...she listened intently..or faked it at least.
Orion is a winter constellation, every fall he rises over the massive line of oaks across the street from me. Right now, I can not see a trace of him, but the oaks may be blocking him partly, and the lights from the next town over, kill my low horizon viewing. Orion is my favorite constellation, containing two of the "big boys"....powerhouses of the night sky, Betelguese and Rigel.
I live almost as 40o north and can see ursa major yearround, except ewhen its cloudy and I can't see sh*t.