One of the most beloved and famous clusters of stars in the entire sky is the Ursa Major Constellation. It is he who is first shown to children, the first to be found in heaven and carefully examined, trying to unravel all its secrets. Its name literally translates from Latin as "big bear", and the brightest stars form the recognizable asterism "bucket", which is clearly visible in the night sky.
All representatives of various cultures knew about this constellation, therefore the Ursa Major Constellation is associated with a huge number of legends, myths and stories. Everyone tried to figure out exactly how it appeared in the sky, and why it was associated with a formidable forest predator.
Very often, instead of the real name, you can hear simply "Big Bucket" or "Plow", making a reference to the world-famous asterism. However, the constellation's official name is Ursa Major, and there are many explanations for this. The Cluster of Stars is one of the oldest and most famous constellations in the sky. Even before the famous astronomer Ptolemy noticed it, the constellation was noted in the oldest texts of Homer and even in the Bible.
As already mentioned, Ursa Major is a well-known constellation, so it was talked about in many cultures, and each culture is ready to provide its own unique story. For example, in Greek mythology, the "heavenly predator" is identified with Callisto. This is a beautiful, charming nymph, past the beauty of which the thunderer Zeus could not pass. God fell madly in love with a nymph, but his jealous wife Hera soon found out about this. She did not like that her husband fell in love with another woman, so the goddess decided to take revenge and turned Callisto into a huge bear.
It is very easy to use the constellation Ursa Major in navigation, since with its help you can see the path to the Polar Star, which is part of the Small Bucket. It is enough to follow the imaginary line drawn from Merak to Dubhe, and mentally continue the arc. Then you can immediately find the Pole Star , by which sailors have always guided themselves. In the same way, an imaginary line can lead to Bootes and Virgo.
The Arabs came up with an equally interesting option. In Arab culture, a cluster of stars is believed to represent a "coffin with mourners." The last star in the tail of the Bear is identified as the leader, while the others are mourners. Different versions of the names were given to pairs of stars that represent the legs of the bear.
Many are trying to count how many stars are in the constellation Ursa Major. Researchers identify seven main luminaries that make up the "predator", and they are all beautiful in their own way. These are stars that are completely different in shape, composition and age, but some of them are combined into groups.
Aliot is considered the brightest and most beautiful star in the entire constellation. The researchers put it in thirty-first place in a kind of "rating" of the brightness of all the stars they discovered. Due to the fact that the star is located in the bear's tail, it received the name, which translates as the tail of cattle. The main star of the Big Dipper belongs to the group of moving stars of the constellation, which is united by a similar speed and origin.
It was first discovered by the famous English astronomer Proctor, who studied the constellation in the second half of the nineteenth century. It was he, thanks to long observations and research, who guessed that all the stars of the Bear, except two, share the same correct movement, heading towards a point located in the constellation Sagittarius. Therefore, he combined the objects together.
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