Ursa Major | Constellation

Ursa Major Constellation

(completing post tomorrow.)

Ursa Major constellation lies in the northern sky. Its name means ?the great bear,? or ?the larger bear,? in Latin. The smaller bear is represented by Ursa Minor.

Ursa Major is one of the best known constellations in the sky. The brightest stars in the constellation form the Big Dipper asterism, one of the most recognizable shapes in the sky, also known as the Plough. Ursa Major is well-known in most world cultures and associated with a number of myths.

Ursa Major was one of the constellations catalogued by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century. It contains a number of notable stars and famous deep sky objects; among them, the Pinwheel Galaxy, Bode?s Galaxy, the Cigar Galaxy, and the Owl Nebula.


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Ursa Major Constellation Map, by IAU and Sky&Telescope magazine

Ursa Major is a well-known, significant constellation in many cultures.

It is one of the oldest constellations in the sky, with a history dating back to ancient times. The constellation is referenced in Homer and the Bible. A great number of tales and legends across the globe associate Ursa Major with a bear.

Ancient Greeks associated the constellation with the myth of Callisto, the beautiful nymph who had sworn a vow of chastity to the goddess Artemis. Zeus saw the nymph one day and fell in love. The two had a son, and named him Arcas.

Artemis had already banished Callisto when she had learned about the nymph?s pregnancy and broken vow, but it was Zeus? jealous wife Hera, who was not amused by her husband?s philandering, who would do even more damage. Angered by Zeus? betrayal, she turned Callisto into a bear.

Callisto lived as a bear for the next 15 years, roaming the forest and always running and hiding from hunters. One day, her son Arcas was walking in the forest and the two came face to face. At the sight of the bear, Arcas quickly drew his spear, scared. Seeing the scene from Olympus, Zeus intervened to prevent disaster. He sent a whirlwind that carried both Callisto and Arcas into the heavens, where he turned Arcas into the constellation Bo

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