Ursa Minor, also known as the Little Bear, is a constellation in the Northern Sky. It was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy. Polaris is a yellow-white supergiant and the brightest Cepheid variable star in the night sky, ranging from an apparent magnitude of 1. 97 to 2. 00.
About Ursa Minor in brief
Ursa Minor, also known as the Little Bear, is a constellation in the Northern Sky. It was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy. Ursa Minor has traditionally been important for navigation, particularly by mariners, because of Polaris being the north pole star. Polaris is a yellow-white supergiant and the brightest Cepheid variable star in the night sky, ranging from an apparent magnitude of 1. 97 to 2. 00. The constellation also contains an isolated neutron star—Calvera—and H1504+65, the hottest white dwarf yet discovered, with a surface temperature of 200,000 K. Inuit astronomy, the three brightest stars—Polaris, Kochab and Pherkaduutu—were known as Nuutu Nuututu, which means never moving, though the term is more frequently used in the singular to refer to the pole star Polaris. The ancient name of the constellation is Cynosura. The origin of this name is unclear. There are various proposed explanations for the name. One suggestion connects it to the myth of Callisto, with her son Arcas replaced by her dog being placed in the sky by Zeus. Others have suggested that an archaic interpretation of Ursa Major was that of a cow, forming a group with Bootes as herdsman, and UrsaMinor as a dog.
George William Cox explained it as a variant of “wolf’s tail”, understood as “trail, or train, of light”. The word for ‘north’ in Latin is septentrio, from Latin septemes and triones, from seven oxen. This name has also been attached to the main stars of Urs a Major. In Inuit Astronomy, the term ‘North Star’ is used to refer. to the north Pole Star, which is too high in the northern sky to be seen at latitudes too far away to be called a ‘northern star’. The name ‘Stella polaris’ was coined only in the early modern period. It means ‘stella’ or ‘polar’, and refers to the northern pole star, which can be seen as far away as 2,000 miles (3,000 kilometers) from the celestial pole. The New Latin name of stella polaris was coined in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It refers to a star that is ‘never moving’ as it is always in the same place at all times, even when it is not visible to the naked eye. It has been called the ‘guardians of the polestar’ by some astronomers. Planets have been detected orbiting four of the stars, including Kochab. The constellation has been used to indicate the northern direction since the medieval period, when it was convenient to use Alpha Ursae Minoris as the north star.