Ursa Major is one of the easiest to see constellations in the sky. Most people though only think of it as the Big Dipper. Ursa Major (or the Big Bear) is the official name of the constellation and covers a large region of the sky. This constellation is seen most times during the year since it is circumpolar. However it is easiest to from late spring to early autumn when it is highest above the horizon

When you click on the name of any of the items at the left, a blue outline or dot will appear on the map showing you the location of that object.

An asterism is a knick-name for an object that isn't an official designation. Asterisms can be made out of part of a single constellation, or can comprise an entire constellation. Here, the well known asterism known as the Big Dipper is actually only a part of the whole constellation of Ursa Major. So these are two different things - make sure you know which is which when you take your quiz.

Amongst the stars, there are two that are very close to one another, Alcor and Mizar. They are so close in fact that you may not see them as distinct objects on the computer or on your star chart. However, when you look at them in the sky, you should be able to see them as two separate objects. Alcor is the fainter one and is located "above" Mizar.

There are also a bunch of multi-colored symbols on the screen, and these are also on your chart. These are objects known as Messier objects, and are an early catelog of non-stellar objects that people discovered when telescope use became very wide spread. The objects are of all different types of things, and most aren't that exciting, but I will on occassion mention a few of them - you don't need to know what these things are though for the quizzes.