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This page shows two images of the constellation, The Big Dipper. The upper image shows the stars as seen from Earth. The bottom image shows the same set of stars from a different vantage point in space.

It All Depends On Your Point Of View

In most cases, however, the stars that we see that seem to be "close" to each other actually are quite far apart, some stars are much closer or farther than others as is shown in the example below of Ursa Major, the big dipper.

In the figure we imagine that we have travelled through space till we are about the same distance away as earth but from a different position in space. The stars in Ursa Major would change as is shown in the lower part of the picture.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF