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Ursa Minor, The Small Bear Constellation

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 brightest star in Ursa Minor is Polaris. There are 2 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Ursa Minor.

Ursa Minor Star and Deep Space Object Count

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.

Stars of Interest

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.

Legend of the Constellation

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.

Items of Interest

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.

Meteor Showers

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.

NameActivityPeak ActivityClosest Star
UrsidsDecember 17-25Dec. 22Kochab

Ursa Minor Facts

NameUrsa Minor
Is a Zodiac Sign No
Brightest StarPolaris
Area255.864 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky0.62%
Size Position56th
Hemisphere Northern
Site Exoplanet Count2
Meteor Shower Count3
Nearest StarHIP 71898
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)HD 150706
Dimmest StarHD 152303
Furthest StarHIP 64708
Bright Star Count25
Hipparcos Star Count604
Main Star Count7
Messier Deep Space Object Count0
*Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count0
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsCepheus

*Note: The number of Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count relates to how many are covered on this site not how many there are.

Ursa Minor Constellation Map

Ursa Minor Constellation Star Map

The map was generated using Night Vision, an awesome free application by Brian Simpson.

List of Named Stars in Ursa Minor

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.

StarDistance (Lt. Yrs.)DeclinationRight Ascension
11 Ursae Minoris398.25+71d 49` 26.015h 17m 05.88
14 Ursae Minoris202.96+73d 28` 35.115h 21m 30.52
19 Ursae Minoris617.73+75d 52` 39.116h 10m 49.53
20 Ursae Minoris653.63+75d 12` 38.116h 12m 32.20
24 Ursae Minoris152.91+86d 58` 04.917h 30m 46.97
3 Ursae Minoris426.92+74d 35` 37.514h 06m 56.48
4 Ursae Minoris456.81+77d 32` 50.814h 08m 51.01
5 Ursae Minoris358.82+75d 41` 45.414h 27m 31.52
8 Ursae Minoris521.86+74d 54` 03.314h 56m 48.32
9 Ursae Minoris111.17+71d 45` 54.915h 00m 27.71
Akhfa al Farkadain368.96+77d 47` 40.215h 44m 03.46
Anwar Al Farkadain96.99+75d 45` 16.916h 17m 30.50
Epsilon Ursae Minoris303.97+82d 02` 14.116h 45m 58.16
Kochab130.94+74d 09` 19.714h 50m 42.40
Lambda Ursae Minoris886.31+89d 02` 15.817h 16m 57.26
Pherkad486.81+71d 50` 02.315h 20m 43.75
Pi Ursae Minoris71.26+80d 26` 54.015h 29m 11.97
Pi-2 Ursae Minoris70.17+80d 27` 00.015h 29m 24.36
Pi-3 Ursae Minoris391.55+79d 58` 59.215h 39m 38.72
Polaris432.58+89d 15` 50.902h 31m 47.08
Polaris Ab
Polaris B+89 d 51` 38.1
RR Ursae Minoris459.38+65d 55` 56.614h 57m 35.12
S Ursae Minoris2452.36+78d 38` 00.215h 29m 34.66
Theta Ursae Minoris856.07+77d 20` 57.615h 31m 25.05
U Ursae Minoris858.32+66d 47` 39.114h 17m 19.90
UY Ursae Minoris153.13+87d 42` 00.012h 15m 20.67
V Ursae Minoris1279.07+74d 18` 36.413h 38m 41.03
VX Ursae Minoris151.99+75d 17` 51.617h 01m 40.08
W Ursae Minoris1598.84+86d 11` 59.416h 08m 27.37
WISE J150649.97+702736.170d 27` 36.015h 06m 49.97
Yildun172.12+86d 35` 10.817h 32m 12.90

Ursa Minor Constellation's Star Breakdown

Type Breakdown

KLight Orange Star 3,700 - 5,200k209
FYellow-White 6,000 - 7,500k132
GYellow 5,200 - 6,000k116
AWhite 7,500 - 10,000k83
MRed Dwarf Star <3,700k34
BBlue-White 10,500 - 30,000k4

Size Breakdown

VMain Sequence25
IIINormal Giant23
IbLess Luminous Supergiant1
IIBright Giant1
DDwarf Star1

Breakdown of Carbon Stars by Type

RR-Type Carbon Star1

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