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Old 19-03-2013, 08:33 AM
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How do Australians call the Ursa Major constellation ?

The 'official' name is Ursa Major, but in the US they call it 'Big Dipper', in the UK 'Plough' . I am curious what other Anglo Saxon countries call UMa.

Despite common misconception that UMa is a 'northern hemisphere only' constellation, in most parts of Australia the Ursa Major is visible from March till June in the evening low in the north.
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Old 19-03-2013, 12:33 PM
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Define anglo saxon country
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Old 19-03-2013, 07:21 PM
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Here in Perth we can't see all of the "Big Dipper.," so it doesn't get called anything. The bits we can see, mainly the Bear's legs, are just belonging to Ursa Major. That's when anyone even remembers that its there below Leo... The short story is that it rarely even rates on the radar for us.

The biggest trouble I have is getting people to realise that the Saucepan in Orion is NOT the Big Dipper. And then to confuse things I have met some older people who were taught that the Saucepan was the Little Dipper, so there is a lot of confusion over what is what down here. I do my best to explain that they are quite different asterisms when I get the chance.
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Old 19-03-2013, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikolas View Post
Define anglo saxon country
I would take that to mean countries with a European heritage/influence, or English as a first language. It's probably not the best description, I agree, but nothing to get offended over, surely?
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Old 19-03-2013, 07:57 PM
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Not offended but its not a correct terminology. I'm sure the Irish would not take too kindly or the scots.
Anyway it's referred to as he Big Dipper or Ursa Major never seen it from Melbourne
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Old 19-03-2013, 08:20 PM
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Not called anything for me.

The "dipper" bit of the constellation reached 6deg above the horizon for me here in nothern NSW so isn't really visible.
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Old 19-03-2013, 08:33 PM
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No matter what we call it (and believe me, I've tried), it simply won't come into view

Cheers
Steffen.
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Old 19-03-2013, 08:36 PM
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I've seen it twice. Once from Broome WA, and once from the highlands above Pittsburgh PA (the rest of the time in the US was light polluted or cloudy). In Broome during May it cleared the horizon for a few hours. The locals called it the Big Dipper.
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Old 19-03-2013, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skysurfer View Post
The 'official' name is Ursa Major, but in the US they call it 'Big Dipper', in the UK 'Plough' . I am curious what other Anglo Saxon countries call UMa.

Despite common misconception that UMa is a 'northern hemisphere only' constellation, in most parts of Australia the Ursa Major is visible from March till June in the evening low in the north.

Sorry, but American's call Ursa Major... Ursa Major. We call the Asterism that make up the back of the Bear the "Big Dipper"...

Standard Disclosure: I'm American


I was at Uluru during Easter 2010 and saw the Big Dipper on the horizon. The local "Astronomer" who gives a talk at the "Sounds of Silence" dinner
wasn't even aware you could see it from Australia (in fact, he denied it was possible even after I pointed it out to him).

OIC!
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Old 20-03-2013, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikolas View Post
Not offended but its not a correct terminology. I'm sure the Irish would not take too kindly or the scots.
Ah, yes. I believe you have a point there. Perhaps you should include the Welsh in there, as I have run into an ornery Welshman as well, to my misfortune...I'm still confused as to whether its Britain, Great Britain, England or the UK, nothing I tried to use seemed to make him happy.
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Old 20-03-2013, 12:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OICURMT View Post
I was at Uluru during Easter 2010 and saw the Big Dipper on the horizon. The local "Astronomer" who gives a talk at the "Sounds of Silence" dinner wasn't even aware you could see it from Australia (in fact, he denied it was possible even after I pointed it out to him).
Oh dear. Sounds as bad as the story I heard of the woman who denied that the Moon could be seen in the daytime, even though it was plainly visible that day!
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Old 20-03-2013, 07:10 AM
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I first saw UMa when I was in Cairns as a young cadet engineer. I hadn't got involved in astronomy at that stage but I knew enough to recognise it as the "Big Dipper". It struck me at the same time that I couldn't see Crux... made me realise how far from home I was.

But in answer to the question: UMa or Big Dipper works for me.

Al.

Last edited by sheeny; 20-03-2013 at 07:10 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 20-03-2013, 10:23 PM
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I miss The Plough, and the great galaxies that hang around it (M51, M101, M81, M82 and a load of other ones). The whole constellation was always UMa or the Great Bear to me, but the seven bright stars are definitely "The Plough"! ["Big Dipper" always grated to me, but hey, it's what you grow up with...]

As far as the name for our islands/countries - the UK is made up of Great Britain (the larger island) and Northern Ireland (part of the smaller island), and a bunch of other small islands. There are four countries within the UK: Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales. The whole sort of general mish-mash is called the UK. Origins (Anglo Saxon and other) are complicated.

A note to Aussies... referring to us as "English", or the whole UK as "England" generally offends us Scots, as well as the Welsh and Irish, though I'm sure those people who are actually from the part of Britain that is England don't mind so much. "Britain" and "British" are usually fine (and certainly are to me), though it might depend upon which flavour of Irishman you're talking to! Clear as mud?

Whatever the country name, it's a long way from here, and usually rains a lot more!
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Old 20-03-2013, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyc View Post
A note to Aussies... referring to us as "English", or the whole UK as "England" generally offends us Scots, as well as the Welsh and Irish, though I'm sure those people who are actually from the part of Britain that is England don't mind so much. "Britain" and "British" are usually fine (and certainly are to me), though it might depend upon which flavour of Irishman you're talking to! Clear as mud?
I generally refer to you guys as.... "you guys" ...
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Old 21-03-2013, 03:59 PM
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Maybe we could refer to that part of the world as "the Antipodes".

Regarding the asterism, like others here, I don't call it anything because it's too low for me to be interested in.
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Old 21-03-2013, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyc View Post
A note to Aussies... referring to us as "English", or the whole UK as "England" generally offends us Scots, as well as the Welsh and Irish, though I'm sure those people who are actually from the part of Britain that is England don't mind so much. "Britain" and "British" are usually fine (and certainly are to me), though it might depend upon which flavour of Irishman you're talking to! Clear as mud?

Whatever the country name, it's a long way from here, and usually rains a lot more!
My maternal grandparents, one from Auchinleck and the other from Cambuslang, called it 'the old country', a name which used to be widely used even by Australian born descendents of the British Isles.

I have seen UMa and the big dipper from northern Australia but from here, with Sydney to my north, it isn't even on my radar. Coma Berenices is even too far north to be well seen.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:42 PM
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The Plough.
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  #18  
Old 02-04-2013, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheeny View Post
It struck me at the same time that I couldn't see Crux... made me realise how far from home I was.

Al.
UMa and Crux have about the same right ascension. That means that during May/June (or April after midnight) both constellations are visible in the tropics, incl. Cairns. UMa low in the North, Crux in the south.
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Old 04-04-2013, 03:18 PM
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In Tasmania, the main island of Australia we call it "Invisible"
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  #20  
Old 16-04-2013, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skysurfer View Post
The 'official' name is Ursa Major, but in the US they call it 'Big Dipper', in the UK 'Plough' . I am curious what other Anglo Saxon countries call UMa.

Despite common misconception that UMa is a 'northern hemisphere only' constellation, in most parts of Australia the Ursa Major is visible from March till June in the evening low in the north.
maybe they pick up the telephone and call 1800UrsaMajor? LOL

Last edited by Julian; 16-04-2013 at 02:48 PM.
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