Pointers are stars that "point" to other constellations or objects and make star hopping around the sky easy.
[hide][top]Ursa Major Pointers to the Pole Star Polaris
The last two stars in the bowl of the Big Dipper (the stars farthest from the handle) point towards the north star
Dubhe and Merak are the pointers. Their line of direction (from Merak to Dubhe), continued, always passes near the North Star.
Finding Other Constellations from the Big Dipper Using Its Pointer Stars Alpha and Beta, the pair in the outer side of the bowl, are often called the Pointers, because an imaginary line drawn through them and extended pole wards nearly hits the pole-star at a distance of about thirty degrees The two stars in the side of the Dipper, opposite to the handle, are called " The Pointers," because they point to the Pole Star, or North Star.
[hide][top]Ursa Minor Pointers to the Pole Star Polaris
Pointers to the Pole Star Polaris - Useful for Polar Alignment
Procedures with EQ
The Ursa Minor "Pointers" unmistakably can direct one to the Pole-star "Polaris" (or "Cynosura"), a star of the second magnitude standing alone.
It is at the end of the tail of Ursa Minor, at the extremity of the handle of the 'Little Dipper," in Ursa Minor. The seven principal stars form a dipper though with the handle bent in a different way from that of the other Dipper.
Beginning at Polaris a curved line (concave towards Ursa Major
) drawn through delta and epsilon brings us to zeta, where the handle joins the bowl. Two bright stars
(second and third magnitude), betta (Kochab) and gamma, correspond to the pointers in the larger Dipper, and are known as the "Guardians of the Pole".