Ursa Minor (The Lesser Bear)
Ursa Minor (pronounced ˌɜːrsə ˈmaɪnər) is the Latin name of a constellation situated close to the northern celestial pole. As such, it is visible for most part of the year from the northern hemisphere.
In English language this constellation is also known as "The Lesser bear" while in astronomical texts and literature this constellation is often abbreviated as "UMi" (according to the standard of the International Astronomical Union - IAU) or as "UMin" (according to a naming convention used by NASA).
The Latin genitive of the constellation name is "Ursae Minoris" (pronounced ˌɜːrsiː mɪˈnɒrɪs) and it is used to identify some of the brightest stars in this constellation based on the Bayer or Flamsteed star naming convention. For instance: α Ursae Minoris (the brightest star of Ursa Minor based on the Bayer catalog); or 23 Ursae Minoris (the 23th star in the constellation of Ursa Minor based on the Flamsteed catalog).
Sky chart of Ursa Minor from your location
Here we provide a simplified sky chart of the Ursa Minor constellation. Alternatively it is possible to locate Ursa Minor in the night sky using our Online Interactive Planetarium.
Visibility of Ursa Minor from your location
Ursa Minor is circumpolar and transits at 23:01 UTC (altitude: 64.6°)
The rise and set times provided here are just directional indications and they refer to a point approximately placed at the center of the constellation. In case of very large constellations these times can have little relevance.
Top bright stars in Ursa Minor
The table below lists the top 20 brightest stars in the Ursa Minor constellation. See also the complete list of 42 stars brighter than magnitude 6.5 (approximate) in the constellation of Ursa Minor. Click on each star to see more details about it.
|HR Number(*)||Star designation||Proper name||Visual magnitude||Color||Notes|
|HR424||α Ursae Minoris||Polaris||2.02||⬤||Variable; Multiple;|
|HR5563||β Ursae Minoris||Kochab||2.08||⬤||Variable; Double;|
|HR5735||γ Ursae Minoris||Pherkad||3.05||⬤||Variable;|
|HR6322||ε Ursae Minoris||4.23||⬤||Variable; Double;|
|HR5430||5 Ursae Minoris||4.25||⬤||Variable; Multiple;|
|HR5903||ζ Ursae Minoris||4.32||⬤||Variable;|
|HR6789||δ Ursae Minoris||Yildun||4.36||⬤|
|HR5321||4 Ursae Minoris||4.82||⬤|
|HR6116||η Ursae Minoris||4.95||⬤||Double;|
|HR5826||θ Ursae Minoris||4.96||⬤|
|HR5714||11 Ursae Minoris||5.02||⬤|
|HR6079||19 Ursae Minoris||5.48||⬤|
|...go to the complete list of 42 bright stars in the constellation of Ursa Minor|
(*) HR stands for Harvard Revised Bright Star Catalogue, which is also known as the Yale Catalogue of Bright Stars.
Top deep sky objects in Ursa Minor
The table below lists the 20 brightest deep sky objects in the Ursa Minor constellation. See also the complete list of 54 deep sky objects in the constellation of Ursa Minor. The list includes objects from the Messier, New General Catalogue (NGC) and Index Catalogue (IC).