Little Dipper Constellation – Home of the Pole Star Polaris


In point of fact, the little dipper, like the larger dipper constellation, is not a constellation but rather an asterism.

A distinct picture made by stars inside an official constellation or portions of other constellations is known as an asterism.

Keep in mind that a constellation is one of the 88 different parts of the sky that are used in astronomy to help discovering things easier. Constellations can be thought of as being similar to a map of the sky.

The name of the constellation is Ursa Minor, which means “the smaller bear.”

Within the constellation Ursa Minor, the Big Dipper contains 7 stars.

Polaris, often known as the north star, may be seen in the handle of the Big Dipper constellation.

When you look at Polaris, it will always point you in the direction of north. As a result of the fact that it will be practically directly above at the north celestial pole, Polaris is also known as the Pole star.

Follow the two stars that are located at the front of the Big Dipper to locate the North star. This can be done by using the Big Dipper.

After travelling almost five times the distance between the two stars, you will arrive at Polaris.

In approximately 14,000 years, as a result of precession, Polaris will no longer be the pole star. At that time, the star Vega, which is part of the constellation Lyra, will replace Polaris as the north star.

Viewing The Dipper

Right Ascension: 15 hours

Declination: 70 degrees

Visible between latitudes 90 and -10 degrees

Best seen in June (at 9:00 PM)

Named Stars: POLARIS (Alpha UMi) KOCAB (Beta UMi) Pherkad (Gamma UMi) Yildun (Delta UMi) Pherkad Minor (11 UMi)

Unfortunately Ursa Minor is not filled with many interesting deep-sky objects.

The Ursa Minor dwarf galaxy resides here and at magnitude 2.0 is easily visible in binoculars.

The “engagement ring” asterism is located near Polaris. It’s a circle of stars visible in binoculars and telescopes.

Ursa Minor contains no nebulae or star clusters.

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