Ursa Minor In The Night

The main stars of Ursa Minor form the Little Dipper, which curves away from the north Pole Star, Polaris, seen bottom centre.

ALPHA (a) URSAE MiNORiS (POLARiS) 2 5 A creamy-white supergiant of magnitude 2.0, about 430 light-years away. It is a Cepheid variable, but the brightness changes are too small to be noticeable to the eye. A small telescope shows an 8th-magnitude star near it, which is unrelated.

GAMMA (g) URSAE MiNORiS 2 n A wide double star that is part of the bowl of the Little Dipper. It is of magnitude 3.0 and has an unrelated 5th-magnitude companion that can be seen with good eyesight or through binoculars.

ETA (n) URSAE MiNORiS n Another wide double star in the bowl of the Little Dipper. Eta is of magnitude 5.0 and has a magnitude 5.5 companion, easily visible through binoculars. Like the companion of Gamma (Ursae Minoris),

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