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Ursa Major, one of the largest constellations in our sky

It's the third largest constellation in the sky — containing hundreds of stars that can be seen with the naked eye in the right conditions. This is Ursa Major. 🌟🌌

One of the best-known constellations in the northern hemisphere

There will never be a mistake to what is the Ursa Major. This famous constellation actually contains around 100 stars that can be seen with the naked eye in the right conditions. Many more can be seen if observation instruments are used. A constellation is a group of stars that appear to be close to each other and are given special meaning by a civilization. Ursa Major (“Great Bear”) is one of the best known constellations in the northern hemisphere, and it’s often compared to a bear trapped in the sky. It was known to both Greco-Roman and Native American cultures.

How did it become so important? First, its size: it’s the 3rd largest constellation in our sky. And second, its consistency: people living above the 41st parallel north can see Ursa Major every night of the year. Depending on the location, some constellations are visible only in certain seasons, appearing and disappearing over the year. But the rest are circumpolar, never disappearing below the horizon. To people living in North America or Eurasia, Ursa Major seems to always rotate around the North Pole. The Greek word for “bear,” arktos, is what the word “arctic” derives from. But over time, a common error emerged: people were confusing the Big Dipper with Ursa Major.

The Big Dipper is an asterism, a sort of mini-constellation that’s part of a larger group of stars. If you look closely, the Big Dipper is formed when you connect the 7 brightest stars of Ursa Major. Alkaid, Mizar, Alioth, Megrez, Dubhe, Merak, and Phecda. It’s also a reference point. If you extend the line linking Merak and Dubhe by 5 times its length, you reach the North Star, pursuant to the International Astronomical Union. But despite its size and fame, Ursa Major is only one of 88 constellations found in the night sky.

Brut. Nature

08/04/2019 4:00 PM
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170 comments

  • Heli V.
    5 days

    We call The Big Dipper in our country The Big Carriage (Suur Vanker). And we also remember collectively the legend and impact of 'sun falling to earth' meteorite which fell to our island Saaremaa assumed around 6000 y ago and left biggest of crater along many small ones around it. Its a source of oldest existing Nordic mythology but these last weeks Saaremaa is the epicenter of covid-19 in our country with about 95 people sick of 10 000 while the country's average is 5 sick out of 10 000. Lets keep the spirits high now. :-)

  • Sagara G.
    5 days

    😊💖🌟

  • Monisa B.
    6 days

    This is the first constellation (the big dipper) i could recognise when i started searching for constellations in my childhood.

  • Kiriacos G.
    6 days

    Are you certain that is visible only from 41st parallel and over, all year round? I live in Cyprus, which is lower (around 35th) and is also visible all year round...

  • Sally S.
    7 days

    Wonder nature we see at night...fantastic

  • Emma Y.
    7 days

    MasyaAllah

  • Oliver W.
    7 days

    🍀🌟🍀

  • Lorenzo N.
    11/25/2019 13:04

    Buenos días. Para los jóvenes k les gusta la bóveda celeste... Para sus tareas en bachillerato. . Ahí está una pequeña demostración de la belleza del cosmos 💗💗💗💗

  • Justin D.
    09/05/2019 17:20

    .

  • Mizrul Z.
    09/01/2019 03:31

    Wow very beautiful.thankyo so much

  • Annabi A.
    09/01/2019 03:21

    سبحان الله رب الاكوان و النجوم

  • Abderrahman M.
    09/01/2019 02:15

    ❤🌌🌟

  • Carlos A.
    09/01/2019 02:07

    Un poquito de astronomía en Inglés <3

  • Christian L.
    09/01/2019 01:14

    Bgm name?

  • Christian P.
    09/01/2019 00:26

    stop! i'm growing up with the fist of the northern star. this is okuto

  • Wahid A.
    08/31/2019 23:54

    ll

  • Celia P.
    08/31/2019 22:38

    no se necesitan palabras para admirar gracias Dios

  • Celia P.
    08/31/2019 22:37

    Q belleza

  • Adriana C.
    08/31/2019 22:03

    Fake

  • Melanie F.
    08/31/2019 20:44

    Beautiful night sky lovely stars ⭐️❤️