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Ursa Minor - the Little Bear


Mythology - Ursa Minor represents the hunter Arcas, son of Callisto who was about to kill his mother after she had been turned into a bear by Hera. Out of pity, Zeus turned Arcas into a bear just as he was about to let fly an arrow and flung both he and his mother into the sky by their tails, stretching them out to the size you can see today. Many people refer to this asterism as the Little Dipper, a smaller version of the Big Dipper, also known as the Plough.
Stars - Polaris (alpha ursa minoris) was a variable star of the cepheid type, but its small pulsations ceased in 1995. This 2nd magnitude yellow star has a bluish 9th magnitude companion.
Visibility - Although visible all year, Ursa Major is overhead in Summer