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Constellation Guide

Constellation guide to the 88 official constellations which divide up the sky. These constellations are used to help navigate the celestial sphere. The Constellations are patterns in the sky which have been to invented and have deep mythology behind them. Constellations cover massive areas in the sky and as such are very easy to find.

Some of the constellations have very familiar names, such as Leo, Gemini, Virgo and Aquarius. There are 12 of these constellations and they form the Zodiac. The Zodiac constellations follow the line of the ecliptic. The ecliptic is the apparent path of the Sun on the celestial sphere.

Ursa Minor

The Little Bear

Ursa Minor is a constellation in the northern sky, the name of which means Small Bear in Latin. It is one of the 88 modern constellations, and was also one of the 48 listed by Ptolemy.

Ursa Minor

Ursa Minor Mythology

The constellation of Ursa Minor, when including less visible stars which are still visible to the naked eye, vaguely resembles a bear (with an unusually long tail). In consequence, together with the nearby Ursa Major, it formed the basis of the myth of Callisto. The tail was said to have been lengthened, from that usually expected for a bear, due to the incessant spinning of the bear, by the tail, around the pole.

Further Information

It is notable as the location of the north celestial pole, although this will change after some centuries due to the precession of the equinoxes. Ursa Minor contains an asterism colloquially known as the Little Dipper because its seven brightest stars seem to form a ladle, or dipper shape. The star at the end of the dipper handle is Polaris, the North Star.

Ursa Minor Photographs

 

More Constellations

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