Hemisphere

Ursa Major Ursae Majoris (UMa)

width limm depth 111 size RANKING 3rd fuLLY vislBLE 90°n-16°s

Ursa Major, the Great Bear, is a large and prominent constellation of the northern sky. Seven of its stars form the familiar shape known as the Big Dipper, but this is only part of the whole constellation. The two stars in the dipper's bowl farthest from the handle, Alpha (a) and Beta (P) Ursae Majoris, point toward the north Pole Star, Polaris. In Greek myth, the Great Bear is identified with two different characters. One is Callisto, a lover of Zeus, who was turned into a bear by Zeus's wife, Hera, in a fit of jealousy The other is Adrasteia, one of two nymphs who nursed the infant Zeus, hiding him from his murderous father, Cronus. The second nymph, Ida, is represented by Ursa Minor, the Little Bear.

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