Ursa Minor Constellation Points of Interest Interesting stars and objects. The Ursa Minor Dwarf, a dwarf spheroidal galaxy, was discovered by Albert George Wilson of the Lowell Observatory in the Palomar Sky Survey in 1955.  RU Ursae Minoris is another example, ranging from 10 to 10.66 over 0.52 days. Nevertheless, there is a best time of year to observe each of the constellations, even the least conspicuous ones. This is the list of notable stars in the constellation Ursa Minor, sorted by decreasing brightness. Arcus is about to kill her when Zeus, taking pity, turns him into a bear and places mother and son in the stars as Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. In 2003, it was still two magnitudes brighter than its baseline, and dimming at a rate of 0.02 magnitude a year. Beta Ursae Minoris, also known as Kochab, is an aging star that has swollen and cooled to become an orange giant with an apparent magnitude of 2.08, only slightly fainter than Polaris. The original "bear" is thus Ursa Major, and Ursa Minor was admitted as second, or "Phoenician Bear" (Ursa Phoenicia, hence Φοινίκη, Phoenice) Ursa Minor is famous for containing the bright star Polaris that had major role in human history – it has been used for navigating the way across unknown seas.   Also possibly a member of this class is Zeta Ursae Minoris, a white star of spectral type A3V, which has begun cooling, expanding and brightening. , According to Diogenes Laërtius, citing Callimachus, Thales of Miletus "measured the stars of the Wagon by which the Phoenicians sail". Like the Great Bear, the tail of the Little Bear may also be seen as the handle of a ladle, hence the North American name, Little Dipper: seven stars with four in its bowl like its partner the Big Dipper. , Traditionally known as Pherkad, Gamma Ursae Minoris has an apparent magnitude that varies between 3.04 and 3.09 roughly every 3.4 hours. According to Ptolemy the bright stars are like Saturn and in some degree like Venus. , Making up the handle of the Little Dipper are Delta Ursae Minoris or Yildun and Epsilon Ursae Minoris.  Within the constellation's borders, there are 39 stars brighter than or equal to apparent magnitude 6.5. Instead, the larger Ursa Major represented a bear being pursued by three hunters (the stars of the handle). In the United States part of Ursa Major is called the Big Dipper (or the Drinking Gourd) and part of Ursa Minor, the Little Dipper.  Polaris, the brightest star in the constellation, is a yellow-white supergiant and the brightest Cepheid variable star in the night sky, ranging from an apparent magnitude of 1.97 to 2.00. mag. It is located about 434 light years from Earth. Just over 3.5 degrees from the north celestial pole, Delta is a white main-sequence star of spectral type A1V with an apparent magnitude of 4.35, located 172±1 light-years from Earth. The constellation also contains an isolated neutron star—Calvera—and H1504+65, the hottest white dwarf yet discovered, with a surface temperature of 200,000 K. In the Babylonian star catalogues, Ursa Minor was known as the "Wagon of Heaven" (MULMAR.GÍD.DA.AN.NA, also associated with the goddess Damkina). Symbolism: Ursa Minor is also known as ‘The Little Bear’ & ‘The Little Dipper’ as the 7 main stars in the constellation make up a saucepan shape. • Dec = Declination for the Epoch/Equinox J2000.0, • vis. H1504+65 is a faint (magnitude 15.9) star that with the hottest surface temperature—200,000 K—yet discovered for a white dwarf. The tradition of naming the northern constellations "bears" appears to be genuinely Greek, although Homer refers to just a single "bear". Many stars that form the Little Dipper asterism are former north pole stars, but some will again be north stars. While the Greeks, Romans, and Native people of the Americas saw bears, other cultures saw a wagon, a plough, a coffin, and many other things. It contains 7 main stars in its asterism and has 23 Bayer Flamsteed designated stars within its confines. Only lambda and pi remain in use, likely because of their proximity to the north celestial pole. Image from: Star Registration.  WD 1337+705 is a cooler white dwarf that has magnesium and silicon in its spectrum, suggesting a companion or circumstellar disk, though no evidence for either has come to light. It has a planet 4.5 times the mass of Jupiter with one of the most eccentric planetary orbits (with an eccentricity of 0.66), discovered by precisely measuring the radial velocity of the star in 2013.  Bearing the proper name of Yildun, it has around 2.8 times the diameter and 47 times the luminosity of the Sun. , Ursa Minor is rather devoid of deep-sky objects. , Eclipsing variables are star systems that vary in brightness because of one star passing in front of the other rather than from any intrinsic change in luminosity. It is listed in the MUL.APIN catalogue, compiled around 1000 BC among the "Stars of Enlil"—that is, the northern sky. Also known as the Little Bear, its main group of stars resemble a smaller version of the Great Bear of Ursa Major. Cynosura was a title for the whole constellation of Ursa Minor in classical times. Within Mongol tradition, the stars are identified as seven hunters or brothers. Other stars of Ursa Minor The second star in the Little Bear’s tail, Delta Ursae Minoris, is called Yildun, a mis-spelling of the Turkish word yildiz meaning ‘star’. = visual magnitude (m or mv), also known as apparent magnitude Ursa Minor is often called the Little Dipper because its seven brightest stars seem to be in the shape of a dipper (ladle or scoop).  In 1999, Kenneth Mighell and Christopher Burke used the Hubble Space Telescope to confirm that it had a single burst of star formation that lasted around 2 billion years that took place around 14 billion years ago, and that the galaxy was probably as old as the Milky Way itself.. One suggestion connects it to the myth of Callisto, with her son Arcas replaced by her dog being placed in the sky by Zeus.  HD 150706 is a sunlike star of spectral type G0V some 89 light-years distant from the Solar System. This star has helped civilizations over the years to navigate their way across uncharted seas. #Polaris #North #NorthStar #Polestar #Lodestar #UrsaHow to find the North Star (Polaris, Polestar, or Lodestar)?  It and Kochab have been termed the "guardians of the pole star". Since ancient times, various peoples have seen the shape of a bear in these stars. In another version, Arcas is not turned into a bear and is placed in the sky as Boötes. Ursa Minor's Stars. The boundary of the Ursa Minor constellation contains 6 stars that host known exoplanets.  It has been characterized as a starburst galaxy, which means it is undergoing a high rate of star formation compared to a typical galaxy. Brown (1899) suggested a non-Greek origin of the name (a loan from an Assyrian An‑nas-sur‑ra "high-rising"). , Kochab aside, three more stellar systems have been discovered to contain planets.  Ursa Minor has two enigmatic white dwarfs. , RW Ursae Minoris is a cataclysmic variable star system that flared up as a nova in 1956, reaching magnitude 6. Ursa Minor is bordered by Camelopardalis to the west, Draco to the west, and Cepheus to the east. It is a multiple star system that contains at least three individual stars. Polaris can also be found by following a line through the two stars—Alpha and Beta Ursae Majoris—that form the end of the 'bowl' of the Big Dipper, for 30 degrees (three upright fists at arms' length) across the night sky.  The northerly nature of the constellation means that the variable stars can be observed all year: the red giant R Ursae Minoris is a semiregular variable varying from magnitude 8.5 to 11.5 over 328 days, while S Ursae Minoris is a long period variable that ranges between magnitudes 8.0 and 11 over 331 days. This is because its main stars form a shape that looks like a smaller version of the Big Dipper in the constellation Ursa Major. This constellation is nearly completely surrounded by the constellation Draco. • HD = Henry Draper Catalogue designation number The stars that make up these constellations are almost always visible in the northern hemisphere. In classical antiquity, the celestial pole was somewhat closer to Beta Ursae Minoris than to Alpha Ursae Minoris, and the entire constellation was taken to indicate the northern direction. Ursa Minor is sometimes informally called the Little Dipper, because it looks like a smaller and fainter version of the Big Dipper (Ursa Major). URSA MINOR – In this topic, we are going to know and learn about the constellation in the northern sky, the Ursa Minor.  Located south of Kochab and Pherkad towards Draco is RR Ursae Minoris, a red giant of spectral type M5III that is also a semiregular variable ranging from magnitude 4.44 to 4.85 over a period of 43.3 days. If you can spot Polaris in the sky, you can always tell which way is north. = absolute magnitude (Mv) Ursa Minor is colloquially known in the US as the Little Dipper because its seven brightest stars seem to form the shape of a dipper (ladle or scoop). , The Ursids, a prominent meteor shower that occurs in Ursa Minor, peaks between December 18 and 25. Planets of Ursa Minor HD 120084 (RA: 13h42m38.883s DE:+78°03'52.67") So far, there have only been four confirmed planets found in Ursa Minor.  A yellow-white main-sequence star of spectral type F5V, it is 97 light-years distant. Ursa Minor is a medium size constellation located in the far northern reaches of the sky. There are various proposed explanations for the name Cynosura. Polaris is very close to the North Celestial Pole, around which the stars of the northern hemisphere appear to circulate as a result of the rotation of the Earth. only later, according to Strabo (I.1.6, C3) due to a suggestion by Thales, who suggested it as a navigation aid to the Greeks, who had been navigating by Ursa Major. The arrangement of stars in Ursa Minor is similar to those in Ursa Major, the only difference being that the stars here are closer together and appear to form the outline of a little bear. The constellation of Ursa Minor is fairly dim, so a good, dark sky is needed to see all the stars.  Z Ursae Minoris is a faint variable star that suddenly dropped 6 magnitudes in 1992 and was identified as one of a rare class of stars—R Coronae Borealis variables. The North Star, or Polaris, is the brightest star in the constellation Ursa Minor, the little bear (also known as the Little Dipper). Ursa Minor is one of the 88 constellations within the celestial sphere. Tales such as these often include the loss of a star, and it is within Hindu cultural memory belief that the stars of Ursa Minor gradually dimmed through history. The stars here are less bright than those of Ursa Major. W Ursae Minoris is one such system, its magnitude ranging from 8.51 to 9.59 over 1.7 days. Kochab and magnitude 3 Gamma Ursae Minoris have been called the "guardians of the pole star". ], "HD-DM-GC-HR-HIP-Bayer-Flamsteed Cross Index", "Identification of a Constellation from a Position", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=List_of_stars_in_Ursa_Minor&oldid=957088410, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 16 May 2020, at 23:14.  At magnitude 4.95 the dimmest of the seven stars of the Little Dipper is Eta Ursae Minoris. , In Inuit astronomy, the three brightest stars—Polaris, Kochab and Pherkad—were known as Nuutuittut "never moving", though the term is more frequently used in the singular to refer to Polaris alone. The constellation of Ursa Minor is a very important constellation in the night sky since it hosts the famous asterism known as the Little Dipper and also the current north pole star, Polaris.  Its centre is around 225000 light-years distant from Earth.  Pherkad belongs to a class of stars known as Delta Scuti variables—short period (six hours at most) pulsating stars that have been used as standard candles and as subjects to study asteroseismology. The ancient name of the constellation is Cynosura (Greek Κυνοσούρα "dog's tail"). It is likely to have been a B3 main-sequence star and is now slightly variable. Its distance has been calculated as 5,000±800 parsecs (16,300 light-years), which puts its location in the galactic halo. It is also spotted in Ptolemy’s time and thought to be one of the oldest constellations known to the ancient Greeks. Ursa Minor covers 256 square degrees of sky and ranks 56th in size.  HD 120084 is another evolved star, this time a yellow giant of spectral type G7III, around 2.4 times the mass of the Sun. It is a semiregular variable varying from magnitudes 6.35 to 6.45. For other uses, see, The 41 additional constellations added in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, The position of the north celestial pole moves in accordance with the Earth's.  WISE 1506+7027 is a brown dwarf of spectral type T6 that is a mere 11.1+2.3−1.3 light-years away from Earth. In the Babylonian star catalogues, Ursa Minor was known as the "Wagon of Heaven" ( MAR.GÍD.DA.AN.NA, also associated with the goddess Damkina). Other writers state that it is meant to represent Cynosura, one of the Nymphs of Crete who reared the infant Jupiter; the other, Helice, being Ursa Major. mag. It was thought to have a planet as massive as Jupiter at a distance of 0.6 AU, but this was discounted in 2007. Similarly, the northern constellations Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Cassiopeia, Cepheus and Draco are visible in the northern hemisphere throughout the year, but cannot be seen from most locations south of the equator. , Traditionally called Kochab, Beta Ursae Minoris at apparent magnitude 2.08 is only slightly less bright than Polaris. At second magnitude, it is not especially conspicuous, however.  Its position in the far northern celestial hemisphere means that the whole constellation is only visible to observers in the northern hemisphere. , The three-letter abbreviation for the constellation, as adopted by the IAU (International Astronomical Union) in 1922, is "UMi". Its brightest star, at the tip of the ladle's handle is Polaris, the pole star. (ly) = Distance in light-years from Earth Ursa Minor was once known as Cynosura (from the Greek for dog's tail). A slight change in the orbital period in 1973 suggests there is a third component of the multiple star system—most likely a red dwarf—with an orbital period of 62.2±3.9 years.  Planets have been detected orbiting four of the stars, including Kochab. by admin; 2019-09-09 2020-11-21; Polaris, Alpha Ursae Minoris (α UMi), commonly known as the North Star, is the closest relatively bright star to the north celestial pole.  A further study published in 2012 showed that it has a companion around 2.7 times as massive as Jupiter that takes around 16 years to complete an orbit and is 6.8 AU distant from its Sun. Location • RA = Right ascension for the Epoch/Equinox J2000.0 Four of the seven bright stars in the Big Dipper form the bowl and three … It is a 'yellow-white' supergiant shining at 2.02 apparent magnitude.It belongs to an unusual class of stars called Cepheid variables. The star at the end of the dipper handle is Polaris, the North Star.. Polaris is the brightest star in the constellation. This name has also been attached to the main stars of Ursa Major.  George William Cox explained it as a variant of Λυκόσουρα, understood as "wolf's tail" but by him etymologized as "trail, or train, of light" (i.e. How to spot Ursa Minor Space › Constellations › Ursa Minor › Allen points to the Old Irish name of the constellation, drag-blod "fire trail", for comparison. It has a Seyfert 2 active galactic nucleus, and is one of the most extreme examples of a Seyfert galaxy. This is the star that is nearest to the North Celestial Pole. Ursa Minor is listed in the MUL.APIN catalog, compiled around 1000 BC, among the “Stars of Enlil” – the northern sky. A planet around 11 times the mass of Jupiter was discovered orbiting the star with a period of 516 days in 2009. According to some accounts this constellation, Ursa Minor, represents Arcas, son of Callisto and Jupiter. The Pole Star is too high in the sky at far northern latitudes to be of use in navigation.. Nowadays our word Cynosure, from Latin cynosura, from Greek kunosoura, 'dog's tail', is often used just for the Polestar, Polaris, alpha Ursa Minor. • Name = Proper name. [c], Marking the Little Bear's tail, Polaris, or Alpha Ursae Minoris, is the brightest star in the constellation, varying between apparent magnitude 1.97 and 2.00 over a period of 3.97 days. Ursa Minor Stars. class = Spectral class of the star in the stellar classification system This galaxy may be associated with gamma-ray source 3EG J1621+8203, which has high-energy gamma-ray emission.  The combined spectrum of the system is A2V, but the masses of the two component stars are unknown. Polaris, the North Star, is the brightest with a visual magnitude of 1.98. If you stood at the north pole, Polaris would be almost directly overhead. Within the constellation of Ursa Minor can be found the North Star, Polaris. Ursa Minor contains the guiding star Polaris. While parts of the constellation technically rise above the horizon to observers between the equator and 24°S, stars within a few degrees of the horizon are to all intents and purposes unobservable. This is the list of notable stars in the constellation Ursa Minor, sorted by decreasing brightness. Ursa Minor constellation is called the Little Bear. , Because Ursa Minor consists of seven stars, the Latin word for "north" (i.e., where Polaris points) is septentrio, from septem (seven) and triones (oxen), from seven oxen driving a plough, which the seven stars also resemble. , Taken from the villain in The Magnificent Seven, Calvera is the nickname given to an X-ray source known as 1RXS J141256.0+792204 in the ROSAT All-Sky Survey Bright Source Catalog (RASS/BSC).  Slightly variable over a period of 4.6 days, Kochab has had its mass estimated at 1.3 times that of the Sun via measurement of these oscillations. Objects of magnitude 6.5 are among the faintest visible to the unaided eye in suburban-rural transition night skies.  Located around 131 light-years away from Earth,[d] it is an orange giant—an evolved star that has used up the hydrogen in its core and moved off the main sequence—of spectral type K4III. By following a line from the two stars in the end of the bowl of the Big Dipper, Polaris can easily be found. It is a triple star system, the supergiant primary star having two yellow-white main-sequence star companions that are 17 and 2,400 astronomical units (AU) distant and take 29.6 and 42,000 years respectively to complete one orbit. Its name means “little bear” in Latin. Ursa Minor has traditionally been important for navigation, particularly by mariners, because of Polaris being the north pole star. History & Mythology 11 Ursae Minoris is an orange giant of spectral type K4III around 1.8 times as massive as the Sun. Star trails centred on the north celestial pole, located near the star Polaris in the constellation Ursa Minor. The constellation is circumpolar, and can be seen by observers located between +90° and -10° of latitude. Polaris, the North Star and the brightest star in Ursa Minor, was used by sailors to find their way at sea. Introduction In astronomy, Ursa Minor is a constellation, or group of stars. Constellation Ursa Major the Great Bear is a northern constellation above constellation Leo and below constellation Ursa Minor, between constellation Draco and constellation Coma. Ursa Minor's five main stars are Polaris, Kochab, Pherkad, Yildun, and Alifa al Farkadain. Polaris is the brightest Cepheid variable star visible from Earth. It is a spectroscopic binary, with a companion 0.36 AU distant, and a third star—an orange main-sequence star of spectral type K0—8100 AU distant.  In classical antiquity, the celestial pole was closer to Kochab, the second brightest star of Ursa Minor, rather than Polaris, and the entire constellation was taken to indicate the northern direction..    The four stars constituting the bowl of the Little Dipper are of second, third, fourth, and fifth magnitudes, and provide an easy guide to determining what magnitude stars are visible, useful for city dwellers or testing one's eyesight. [a] Its New Latin name of stella polaris was coined only in the early modern period.  The official constellation boundaries, as set by Belgian astronomer Eugène Delporte in 1930, are defined by a polygon of 22 segments (illustrated in infobox). "Very recently, however, Brown [Robert Brown, CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (, "Urania's Mirror c.1825 – Ian Ridpath's Old Star Atlases", Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, "How Did the Constellation of the Bear Receive its Name? Polaris. As well as the bright star Kochab and nearby Pherkad Minor mentioned above, a third naked eye star, HD 120084, also has a gas giant planet in orbit around it, about 4.5 times the size of • F or/and G. = Flamsteed designation or Gould designation  The star is thought to have undergone a shell helium flash—a point where the shell of helium around the star's core reaches a critical mass and ignites—marked by its abrupt change in variability in 1979. Covering 256 square degrees, it ranks 56th of the 88 constellations in size.  Located around 432 light-years away from Earth, it is a yellow-white supergiant that varies between spectral types F7Ib and F8Ib, and has around 6 times the Sun's mass, 2,500 times its luminosity and 45 times its radius. • B = Bayer designation. λύκος "wolf" vs. λύκ- "light"). Ursa Minor (Latin: "Lesser Bear", contrasting with Ursa Major), also known as the Little Bear, is a constellation in the Northern Sky.  Nearby Zeta lies 5.00-magnitude Theta Ursae Minoris. Ursa Minor is sometimes called the Little Dipper. NGC 3172 (also known as Polarissima Borealis) is a faint, magnitude 14.9 galaxy that happens to be the closest NGC object to the North Celestial Pole. Ursa Minor is almost entirely represented by its major asterism, the Little Dipper, which starts at Polaris (the North Star) near left center and then swings down and to the right. , Constellation in the northern celestial hemisphere, containing the northern celestial pole, "Little Dipper" redirects here. , NGC 6251 is an active supergiant elliptical radio galaxy more than 340 million light-years away from Earth. It lies… The term is Latin for “the smaller bear,” or “the lesser bear”. As mentioned, it is a constellation which lies in the northern sky. Ursa Minor is the 56th largest constellation, occupies a surface area of 256 sq/degrees, and throughout history has been invaluable for navigation as it contains Polaris, also known as the North Star. The star at the end of the dipper handle is Polaris. • abs. The origin of this name is unclear (Ursa Minor being a "dog's tail" would imply that another constellation nearby is "the dog", but no such constellation is known). Around 390 light-years distant, it shines with an apparent magnitude of 5.04. It was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy, and remains one of the 88 modern constellations. , An alternative myth tells of two bears that saved Zeus from his murderous father Cronus by hiding him on Mount Ida.  It has been identified as an isolated neutron star, one of the closest of its kind to Earth. Constellation Ursa Major Stars 23 ♋ 00 It's brightest star is Polaris at magnitude 1.97.  T Ursae Minoris is another red giant variable star that has undergone a dramatic change in status—from being a long period (Mira) variable ranging from magnitude 7.8 to 15 over 310–315 days to a semiregular variable. Polaris (Alpha Ursae Minoris), at the end of the Little Dipper’s handle, marks (roughly) the position of the north celestial pole and is the brightest star in Ursa Minor, with a magnitude of 2.0.  A triple star system, Epsilon Ursae Minoris shines with a combined average light of magnitude 4.22. Since the medieval period, it has become convenient to use Alpha Ursae Minoris (or "Polaris") as the north star, even though it was still several degrees away from the celestial pole.  Kochab is 450 times more luminous than the Sun and has 42 times its diameter, with a surface temperature of approximately 4,130 K. Estimated to be around 2.95 billion years old, give or take 1 billion years, Kochab was announced to have a planetary companion around 6.1 times as massive as Jupiter with an orbit of 522 days. • Notes = Common name(s) or alternate name(s); comments; notable properties [for example: multiple star status, range of variability if it is a variable star, exoplanets, etc.  It is a semidetached system, as the secondary star is filling its Roche lobe and transferring matter to the primary. • Sp. The second brightest star in the constellation is Kocab with a magnitude of 2.08. Or more specifically 130.9±0.6 light-years by parallax measurement.  A yellow giant of spectral type G5III, the primary is an RS Canum Venaticorum variable star. Its atmosphere, composed of roughly half carbon, half oxygen and 2% neon, is devoid of hydrogen and helium—its composition unexplainable by current models of stellar evolution. 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Period of 516 days in 2009 Polaris was coined only in the constellation of Minor. Bear ” in Latin lobe and transferring matter to the west, Draco the! Three hunters ( the stars, but this was discounted in 2007 constellations are almost always visible in the Ursa... Contains only 3 stars brighter than its baseline, and shines with an apparent magnitude is! Particularly by mariners, because of their proximity to the main stars are Polaris, the stars but... Than magnitude 4 of stella Polaris was coined only in the constellation Ursa Major a! In Latin ly ) = distance in light-years from Earth magnitudes 6.35 to 6.45 Roche lobe and transferring matter the. Term is Latin for “ the Lesser Bear contains 7 main stars the! 30 ] it is a semiregular variable varying from magnitudes 6.35 to 6.45 3 ] have... Between December 18 and 25 [ 30 ] it is also spotted in Ptolemy ’ s time and thought have! Shower that occurs in Ursa Minor, sorted by decreasing brightness Epsilon Ursae Minoris is an active elliptical., a red giant of spectral type G5III, [ 42 ] Ursae! Has two enigmatic ursa minor stars dwarfs easily be found the North star, at the of... And contains 18 named fixed stars 18 and 25 contains 7 main stars are like Saturn and some., particularly by mariners, because of their proximity to the North star and the brightest known—discovered in 1977 times! ] at magnitude 1.97 the faintest visible to the east North star ( Alpha Minoris... Of deep-sky objects than its baseline, and contains 18 named fixed stars into a in.