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Ursa Minor (Little Bear (Dipper))

Month Best Visible


Hemisphere Visible


Ursa Minor is colloquially known as the Little Dipper because its seven brightest stars seem to form the shape of a dipper (ladle or scoop). The star at the end of the dipper handle is Polaris, the North Star. Polaris can also be found by following a line through the two stars which form the end of the "bowl" of the Big Dipper, a nearby asterism found in the constellation Ursa Major.

Ursa Minor is commonly visualized as a baby bear with an unusually long tail. The tail was said to have been lengthened from that usually expected for a bear, because of its being held by the tail and spun around the pole. (The center of the sky).

Neighbouring Constellations

Camelopardalis (Giraffe)

Cepheus (Cepheus)

Draco (Dragon)

Picture of Ursa Minor