Ursa Minor (Pronounciation:Ur-sar Mine-nore, Abbrev:UMi, Latin:Ursae Minoris) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Ursa Minor takes up 255.864 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 0.62% of the night sky. The constellation gets its name as it name means The Small Bear . The constellation is one of the original constellations that was devised by the Ancient Greco-Egyptian astronomer Ptolemy who lived between 90 A.D. and 168 A.D.
Ursa Minor is not a member of the Zodiac group of twelve constellations that appear when the Sun sets. Ursa Minor is a northern hemispheric constellation which means it can't be seen easily or at all from the southern hemisphere.
The number of stars that have been catalogued as part of the Hipparcos Star Catalogue from Ursa Minor is 604. The number of stars that are of magnitude 6.0 or lower in the constellation is 25. The number of stars in the constellation that make up the outline is 7.
There are no deep space objects that were identified by Charles Messier in this constellation. There are no non-Messier deep space objects in this constellation that are covered at present on this site.
The nearest star to Earth is HIP 71898 which is roughly about 35.01 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is HD 150706 which is about 92.06 Light Years. The furthest star that can be located in the constellation is HIP 64708 which is located about 326163.3 Light Years away from the Sun. The furthest figure is derived from either the 1997 or 2007 Hipparcos star catalogue parallax figure and it has been known to produce distances that are wrong.
The dimmest star that can be seen in Ursa Minor with the naked eye is HD 152303. The dim star has an apparent magnitude of 5.99. The dimmest star that a person is able to see with their naked eye is 6.0 magnitude based on the table in the reference. Ref: University of Michigan
The caveat of these stars are that they are catalogued on this site. If you know of a star that is nearer or further then do let me know in the comments and I'll add it to the site. The stars mentioned are from the Hipparcos catalogue or have been added because of their special status.
Zeus had a son (Arcas) with Callisto, a mortal. In a fit of rage, Hera turned Callisto into a bear Ursa Major. When Arcas nearly killed his mother as he didn't know who she was, Zeus turned Arcas into a bear Ursa Minor and sent them to the stars.
The most interesting item in this constellation is Polaris, the Pole Star. It is directly above the North Pole, however it won't always be the case. As the solar system orbits the Galactic Centre, Polaris will move out of place. The equivalent to this sun is Polaris Australis which is the nearest star to the South Pole but not exact. Of years gone by, sailors used to navigate using the Pole Star as a guide.
There are 3 Meteor Showers that occur during the year within this constellation based on information gathered from Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland). The ones listed as the ones I've been able to find a date range for. For others if you have the time, you can visit the AMU site, obtains the SL value then use IMO tables to calculate the date. A lot of the Meteor Showers are weak and you need to do a lot of stargazing to spot them.
|Name||Activity||Peak Activity||Closest Star|
|Ursids||December 17-25||Dec. 22||Kochab|
|Is a Zodiac Sign||No|
|Area||255.864 sq. deg.|
|Percentage of Night Sky||0.62%|
|Site Exoplanet Count||2|
|Meteor Shower Count||3|
|Nearest Star||HIP 71898|
|Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)||HD 150706|
|Dimmest Star||HD 152303|
|Furthest Star||HIP 64708|
|Bright Star Count||25|
|Hipparcos Star Count||604|
|Main Star Count||7|
|Messier Deep Space Object Count||0|
|*Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count||0|
|Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding Constellations||Cepheus|
*Note: The number of Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count relates to how many are covered on this site not how many there are.
The map was generated using Night Vision, an awesome free application by Brian Simpson.
|Star||Distance (Lt. Yrs.)||Exoplanet Count||Declination||Right Ascension|
|HD 120084||328.46||1||+78d 03` 51.6||13h 42m 39.38|
|HD 150706||92.06||1||+79d 47` 24.0||16h 31m 17.27|
As there's so many stars in the cosmos, not all the stars are listed here. The site has lots of stars not listed so if your star isn't listed and you know the Henry Draper or Hipparcos ID, type https://www.universeguide.com/star/ then followed by the HIPNNNNNN or HDNNNN where NNNNN is the number part of the name. The stars that I do list have either a traditional name, a bayer or other classification name.
|Star||Distance (Lt. Yrs.)||Declination||Right Ascension|
|11 Ursae Minoris||398.25||+71d 49` 26.0||15h 17m 05.88|
|14 Ursae Minoris||202.96||+73d 28` 35.1||15h 21m 30.52|
|19 Ursae Minoris||617.73||+75d 52` 39.1||16h 10m 49.53|
|20 Ursae Minoris||653.63||+75d 12` 38.1||16h 12m 32.20|
|24 Ursae Minoris||152.91||+86d 58` 04.9||17h 30m 46.97|
|3 Ursae Minoris||426.92||+74d 35` 37.5||14h 06m 56.48|
|4 Ursae Minoris||456.81||+77d 32` 50.8||14h 08m 51.01|
|5 Ursae Minoris||358.82||+75d 41` 45.4||14h 27m 31.52|
|8 Ursae Minoris||521.86||+74d 54` 03.3||14h 56m 48.32|
|9 Ursae Minoris||111.17||+71d 45` 54.9||15h 00m 27.71|
|Akhfa al Farkadain||368.96||+77d 47` 40.2||15h 44m 03.46|
|Anwar Al Farkadain||96.99||+75d 45` 16.9||16h 17m 30.50|
|Epsilon Ursae Minoris||303.97||+82d 02` 14.1||16h 45m 58.16|
|Kochab||130.94||+74d 09` 19.7||14h 50m 42.40|
|Lambda Ursae Minoris||886.31||+89d 02` 15.8||17h 16m 57.26|
|Pherkad||486.81||+71d 50` 02.3||15h 20m 43.75|
|Pi Ursae Minoris||71.26||+80d 26` 54.0||15h 29m 11.97|
|Pi-2 Ursae Minoris||70.17||+80d 27` 00.0||15h 29m 24.36|
|Pi-3 Ursae Minoris||391.55||+79d 58` 59.2||15h 39m 38.72|
|Polaris||432.58||+89d 15` 50.9||02h 31m 47.08|
|Polaris B||+89 d 51 ` 38.1|
|RR Ursae Minoris||459.38||+65d 55` 56.6||14h 57m 35.12|
|S Ursae Minoris||2452.36||+78d 38` 00.2||15h 29m 34.66|
|Theta Ursae Minoris||856.07||+77d 20` 57.6||15h 31m 25.05|
|U Ursae Minoris||858.32||+66d 47` 39.1||14h 17m 19.90|
|UY Ursae Minoris||153.13||+87d 42` 00.0||12h 15m 20.67|
|V Ursae Minoris||1279.07||+74d 18` 36.4||13h 38m 41.03|
|VX Ursae Minoris||151.99||+75d 17` 51.6||17h 01m 40.08|
|W Ursae Minoris||1598.84||+86d 11` 59.4||16h 08m 27.37|
|Yildun||172.12||+86d 35` 10.8||17h 32m 12.90|
|K||Light Orange Star 3,700 - 5,200k||209|
|F||Yellow-White 6,000 - 7,500k||132|
|G||Yellow 5,200 - 6,000k||116|
|A||White 7,500 - 10,000k||83|
|M||Red Dwarf Star <3,700k||34|
|B||Blue-White 10,500 - 30,000k||4|
|Ib||Less Luminous Supergiant||1|
|R||R-Type Carbon Star||1|