The Constellation Ursa Minor

by Dominic Ford
Ursa Minor Ursa Minor
The constellation Ursa Minor. Roll mouse over to see labels.
Source: Stellarium.

Ursa Minor is sometimes informally called the Little Dipper, because it looks like a smaller and fainter version of the Big Dipper (Ursa Major).

Its brightest star, at the tip of the ladle's handle is Polaris, the pole star. At second magnitude, it is not especially conspicuous, however.

The next two brightest stars, Kochab and Pherkad, are often referred to as the guardians of the pole star, because they circle around it.

Ursa Minor lies well away from the plane of the Milky Way, and does not contain any bright deep sky objects.

In Greek mythology, Ursa Minor is commonly associated with one of the two bears who nursed the infant Zeus.

Date First Appeared
Ancient
Sky Area
0.6% of the sky
255.9 square degrees
Messier Objects
Ursa Minor contains no Messier objects
Caldwell Objects
Ursa Minor contains no Caldwell objects
Neighbors
The following constellations neighbor Ursa Minor: Camelopardalis, Cepheus, Draco.
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Brightest Objects in Ursa Minor

Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Polaris (mag 2.0) IC 4470 NGC 6217 (mag 11.2)
Kochab (mag 2.1) NGC 5832 (mag 12.0)
Pherkad (mag 3.0) NGC 5452 (mag 13.0)
ε-UMi (mag 4.2) NGC 6324 (mag 13.0)
5-UMi (mag 4.2) NGC 5144 (mag 13.0)
ζ-UMi (mag 4.3) NGC 5939 (mag 13.0)
Yildun (mag 4.3) NGC 6068 (mag 13.0)
RR UMi (mag 4.7) NGC 3172 (mag 13.6)
4-UMi (mag 4.8) NGC 5314 (mag 14.0)
η-UMi (mag 5.0) NGC 5607 (mag 14.0)
θ-UMi (mag 5.0) NGC 5819 (mag 14.0)
11-UMi (mag 5.0) NGC 5909 (mag 14.0)
HD 136064 (mag 5.2) NGC 6011 (mag 14.0)
HD 124730 (mag 5.2) NGC 5323 (mag 14.0)
19-UMi (mag 5.5) NGC 5412 (mag 14.0)
HD 118904 (mag 5.5) IC 1200 (mag 14.0)
HD 149681 (mag 5.6) NGC 5912 (mag 14.0)
HD 140227 (mag 5.6) NGC 6048 (mag 14.0)
HD 133002 (mag 5.6) NGC 6091 (mag 14.0)
HD 158996 (mag 5.7) NGC 6251 (mag 14.0)
18-UMi (mag 5.7) IC 1129 (mag 14.0)
24-UMi (mag 5.8) NGC 5547 (mag 14.0)
HD 117187 (mag 5.8) NGC 6094 (mag 14.0)
HD 120084 (mag 5.9) NGC 5034 (mag 14.0)
20-UMi (mag 6.4) NGC 5344 (mag 15.0)

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

Color scheme