At 9 pm of all the nights and in any season of the year I noticed, the two stars at the end of Dipper's bowl point towards Polaris, the North Star. All the stars in the sky, the Sun included, circle the celestial poles, and for my lifetime Polaris stayed within a degree of the true North Celestial Pole (The farther North I went, the more stars I can see, because the horizon in the US is farther south, see Figure). Polaris is the brightest star of another constellation, Ursa Minor or the Little Bear. This Little Dipper is bent back, resembling a spoon bent by a child. Except for Polaris itself and the two stars at the end of the bowl, the Little Dipper's stars are faint.
I used the Big Dipper to locate several nearby groups at 9 pm. I live in Tucson in Southeast, and when I tried the handle, which curves, like an arc of a circle, to the Northeast. I started by joining the stars of the handle with an imaginary curved line, and 'arc' to Arcturus, a bright yellow-orange star in the constellation of Bootes. Although this constellation is known mythologically as the Herdsman, on the other hand, I found it really easy to spot as a "kite". Once I have seen Arcturus, I kept my curved line moving in the same direction, for further along I found Spica, a bright bluish star that is at the head of Virgo and Virgin. Next, I drew a line from Gamma in the bowl through Eta, the end star of the handle, and continued across most of the summer sky towards Antares in Scorpius. In January to present 2011, I joined the two stars at the end of the handle, Eta and Zeta, and continued above the bowl to Capbella. This will bring me back to spring, when I also can use the Dipper in a different way.