Ursa Minor

Ursa Minor

Abbreviation:  UMi
English Name:  The Chained Maiden
Genitive: Polaris
Hemisphere:  Northern Hemisphere
Location: Between the constellations of Cepheus and Draco.
Visible between latitudes:  
+90 and -10 degrees
Best season: Summer
Seen in three seasons: Spring, Summer, and Autumn.
Best seen in:  Circumpolar, better in June (This constellation of Ursa Minor stays in the Sky all the year.)
Seen between: May and June
Right Ascension (RA):  15 hour
Declination (DEC):  +70 degrees
Area (square degrees):  256 (56th)

Ursa Minor  (The Little Bear)

  • Polaris is the brightest star in Ursa Minor – it’s located almost exactly above the North Pole, and contains the North Celestial Pole (NCP) (photo)is the `North Pole Star`. Travellers used Polaris to find their way facing almost due North, before a long time ago, the magnetic compass was invented.
  • If you stood at the North Pole, Polaris would be almost directly overhead. If you can spot Polaris in the sky, you can always tell which way is north.
  • The constellation of Ursa Minor with seven main stars, is known as ` The Little Dipper` it looks somewhat like a spoon that handle has been bent back by a playful child.

Messier Objects

  • No Messier objects in Ursa Minor.

Features of Interest

  • UGC 9749 – Ursa Minor Dwarf, the constellation of Ursa Minor is rather lacking of many deep-sky objects,  one of them are a notable object is the Ursa Minor Dwarf, located in the area of the constellation, and a satellite galaxy to our Milky-Way.

Named Stars

  • Polaris (Alpha UMi)
  • Kocab (Beta UMi)
  • Pherkad (Gamma UMi)
  • Yildun (Delta UMi)
  • Pherkad Minor (11 UMi)


  • Photo of the constellation; Ursa Minor, as it appears to the naked eye. (Lines have been added for clarity.)
  • Sky Chart  –  Ursa Minor
  • List of stars in Ursa Minor.


Back to The 88 Constellations Lists  page.


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