The North Star, also known as Polaris, is a part of the constellation Ursa Minor. Ursa Minor is also referred to as the Little Bear or the Little Dipper.
The North Star is the final star in the handle of the Little Dipper or Ursa Minor constellation, which is composed of a total of seven stars. The nearby constellation the Big Dipper or Ursa Major, also known as the Big Bear, is brighter than Ursa Minor and is often used to locate the North Star. The North Star can be located by tracing a line from Dubhe and Merak, two of the stars that constitute part of the Big Dipper's bowl.Learn More
Hydra, spanning 1303 square degrees of the sky, is the largest constellation. Hydra is located in the skies of the southern hemisphere and was first named by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the second century.Full Answer >
The constellations bordering Scorpius include Sagittarius (the Archer) to the east and Ophiucus (Serpent Bearer) to the north. Libra (the Scales) and Lupus (the Wolf) are off to the west, and Corona Australis (Southern Crown), Ara (the Altar) and Norma (the Level) all lie to the south.Full Answer >
Constellations are not discovered, but rather are patterns of stars that people have noticed and given names to over time. The earliest evidence for the categorization of stars into constellations comes from Mesopotamia in approximately 1300 to 1000 B.C.Full Answer >
The stars in the Big Dipper are all different distances from Earth, which affects the time it takes the light to travel. The constellation's most distant is Alkaid; its light takes 210 years to reach Earth. From Megrez, the closest star, the light takes 63 years to each Earth.Full Answer >