The American Museum of Natural History explains the reason why the Big Dipper, the seven brightest stars of the Ursa Major constellation, has remained unchanged to the human eye throughout the years and will continue to look the same way for many years to come.
Stars aren’t still–they move through space. Our Sun and the seven stars that form the Big Dipper in the constellation Ursa Major all orbit the center of the Milky Way at different speeds. So why do today’s constellations closely resemble those depicted by ancient astronomers? Find out why they, like us, saw just a snapshot of cosmic time.