This is Ephemeris for Tuesday, May 11th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 41 minutes, setting at 9 pm, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:17 am. The Moon is new today, and won’t be visible.
The Big Dipper is overhead, actually north of overhead this evening when it gets dark for us in Michigan, it’s seven stars shining brightly. The Big Dipper is not an actual constellation, recognized internationally. It’s part, the hind part, of Ursa Major, the great bear. The Big Dipper is an asterism or informal constellation. It is a distinctly North American constellation. For fugitive slaves, fleeing the southern states in the days before the Civil War, the Drinking Gourd, as they called it, showed the direction north to freedom. In England the dipper stars become the Plough (plow), or Charles’ Wain (Charlemagne’s Wagon). In France, known for culinary delights it was the saucepan, or the cleaver. Many cultures saw what was familiar to them in these seven bright stars.
The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.
Cultural views of the Big Dipper as an Animation: Big Dipper/Sauce ...