The New Student's Reference Work/Bear, Greater and Lesser

Bear, Greater and Lesser, two groups of stars or constellations in the northern sky.  In the Great Bear are seven very bright stars, forming the “dipper.”  The body of the “dipper” is made by four stars forming a quadrangle, the other three, which make the handle, being nearly in a straight line.  The straight line which passes through the two stars on the side opposite the handle, passes also very nearly through the pole star; distant about five times the length between the two stars.  These two stars are therefore called the pointers.  In the Lesser Bear a group of stars also forms a dipper, but the stars are not nearly so bright.

The end of the Little Bear’s tail is the Pole Star, which lies almost exactly over the north pole.  The Great Dipper is easily recognized by the star-gazer, and remembering the pointers, then locate the Pole Star, and the Little Dipper may readily be found.  In most star-maps these constellations are called by their Latin names, Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.  See Ball: Starland, also The Story of the Heavens; Moulton: Introduction to Astronomy.