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Ursa Major and Ursa Minor

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Date:21.04.99 Time:0:03 UT Exposure:30 min
Field of View:44o x 50o Emulsion:Kodak Royal 400 Filter:none
Optics:f=24mm 1/4.0 Place:Renshausen at Göttingen Observer:T. Credner
Notes to the data

© Copyright by the observers

The constellations Ursa Minor, the Little Bear, and Ursa Major, the Great Bear, are better known as the Small and the Big Dipper. However, Ursa Major extends far more out and only the seven brightest stars give the popular pattern of the Big Dipper. The brightest star of Ursa Minor, alpha UMi, is less than a degree from the celestial northpole (where earth's axis is pointing at). Therefore it plays a major role for navigation and got the name Polaris or Pole Star. To find Polaris just extend the two back stars of the Big Dipper about five times upwards (see lines and labels).