Ursa Minor: The Little BearPronunciation: ER-suh MY-ner
|Ursa Minor Constellation Profile|
|Abbreviation: UMi||Genitive: Ursae Minoris|
|Origin: Ancient||Location: Northern Hemisphere|
|Best View (North): All year||Best View (South):|
|Bordering Constellations: Draco, Cepheus, Camelopardalis|
The Myth Behind the Constellation Ursa MinorUrsa Minor, “The Little Bear” is often linked to Arcas, son of Zeus and Callisto. To protect Callisto from the jealousy of Hera, Zeus disguises his paramour by turning her into a bear. The boy is raised by Maia, the mother of Hermes. Many years later Arcas has become a masterful hunter and comes upon his mother in bear form. Callisto recognizes her son and tries to greet him but her words only come out as growls. 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 another version, Arcas is not turned into a bear and is placed in the sky as Boötes.
Ursa Minor Constellation Points of InterestInteresting stars and objects.
Bright Stars in Ursa MinorThese are the stars in Ursa Minor with a minimum magnitude of 3.0.
|Polaris||Alpha Ursae Minoris||1.96||Yellow-White||2,612 suns||432 ly|
|Kochab||Beta Ursae Minoris||2.07||Orange||1005 suns||127 ly|