Ursa Minor: Magnitude Guide

The constellation Ursa Minor (Little Bear for those who prefer the vernacular) contains Polaris, the star which will point you north–if you have a mostly cloudless night.

It also contains a helpful guidepost for judging the magnitudes of other stars in your northern sky. And a test for your eyesight.

Sometimes Ursa Minor is also referred to as the “Little Dipper” and the four stars for “holding water” are each 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 4th magnitude, moving clockwise from Kochab, the brightest of them and designated β on the chart to the left. (A detailed explanation of apparent magnitude is here.) If you can see all four stars, your seeing is pretty good.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Astronomy, constellations. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Ursa Minor: Magnitude Guide

  1. Pingback: The Dogs of Winter « Catholic Sensibility

  2. Chelsea says:

    I like what is put at the top of the page, but I think that you should tell a myth about Ursa Minor because my child is doing a report, and we checked all over the enternet for a myth of Ursa Minor and haven’t found one

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