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 Constellation Guide URSA MAJOR

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scopeman

scopeman

Posts : 116
Join date : 2011-08-23

Constellation Guide URSA MAJOR Empty
PostSubject: Constellation Guide URSA MAJOR   Constellation Guide URSA MAJOR EmptyFri Aug 26, 2011 5:25 pm

Ursa Major - The Great bear



Pronounced "Urs - Ah - May - Jer"



Where to find the constellation



Constellation Guide URSA MAJOR 47chwu0





Constellation Chart



Constellation Guide URSA MAJOR 4dfl2qp



Ursa Major contains one of the most instantly recognisable patterns in the sky.

The 'Plough', as it is most commonly known in UK, only actually makes up about a quarter of the whole of Ursa major.

Also known as the 'Big Dipper' - The 'Saucepan' - 'Charles' Wain' (and many other names) this collection of 7 stars (8 if you count the
Mizar/Alcor system as 2 stars) is actually an 'asterism' - A catch-all name that describes any collection of stars that makes up a recognisable pattern, but isn't either a constellation or cluster.

The Plough also has a special significance because it can be used to find true North.

There are A LOT of galaxies in Ursa Major - so many that I've had to
limit the DSOs in this guide to just the Messier objects. For more DSOs
in Ursa Major see the list at the foot of this guide.

A nice planetary nebula, and one of the best known multiple star systems in the sky also reside in Ursa Major.







M81 - Bode's Galaxy

Constellation Guide URSA MAJOR 2is7h3n



M82 - The Cigar Galaxy

Constellation Guide URSA MAJOR 2wmhtl3



M81 and M82 can be seen together in the same low power view.

Constellation Guide URSA MAJOR 48qzt5g

To find M81 and M82, make an imaginary line from 'Phad', through 'Dubhe' (see chart) and carry on for about the same distance again.





M101 - The Pinwheel Galaxy

Faint and diffuse - requires a good sky

Constellation Guide URSA MAJOR 4ih8far



M108

Appears as little more than a faint smear.

Constellation Guide URSA MAJOR 42xcuwk



M109

Small, barred spiral galaxy

Constellation Guide URSA MAJOR 2uptj42



M97 - The Owl nebula

Constellation Guide URSA MAJOR 2wdmys3



A fairly bright planetary nebula, quite near to M109 (see chart) - It has two dark patches within the circular nebula, and probably earned the nickname 'Owl Nebula' because of this whimsical sketch made by Lord Rosse in 1848



Constellation Guide URSA MAJOR 2iies82



One of the few DSOs that can sometimes show some colour visually, under good conditions you may pick up a blueish tint.







M40

Also known as 'Winnecke 4' - is unusual in the Messier list, in that it isn't strictly what you would usually regard as a DSO - it is actually a double-star, with a separation of about 45 arcsec.

Constellation Guide URSA MAJOR 2ut501e





Mizar/Alcor (The horse and rider)

This wide double star was sometimes used as a test of eyesight in ancient times.

The brighter star (Mizar) is itself, a tight-ish double (14 arcsec) - AND each of Mizar's elements is a spectral double (too close to be seen seperately from here), so Mizar is a 4 star system.

There is still speculation as to whether or not Alcor actually orbits the Mizar system, or is just a close neighbour.

There's also a dimmer star about halfway between Mizar and Alcor, but offset to one side a little - this star is not assosciated with Mizar and Alcor, it is simply a line-of-sight effect.





The Pointers

The end two stars of the 'bowl' of the 'Big Dipper' asterism - Merak and Dubhe

If you make an imaginary line from Merak - through Dubhe - and carry on in the same direction - the next bright star you come to is Polaris - the Pole Star.

They earn the name 'Pointers' because they point to the Pole - For centuries, this has been the accepted way to get a pretty close bearing on true North at night.





A little known fact is that 5 of the 7 stars that make up the Plough are members of an open cluster - the closest known open cluster to the Sun.

The fact that they are all roughly 80 light-years away, and all have the same 'proper motion' across the sky, reveals their common ancestry

Several other nearby stars are members of the same cluster.





Ursa major NGCs (with magnitudes) - from my own "1200 Northern NGCs" list

For those with 'GoTo' or a good chart.

Restricted to Mag11 (to keep the numbers down)

2681 - Gal - 10.2

2768 - Gal - 9.9

2787 - Gal - 10.8

2805 - Gal - 11

2841 - Gal - 9.2

2950 - Gal - 10.9

2976 - Gal - 10.2

2985 - Gal - 10.4

3031 - Gal - 7.4 (M81 - Bode's Galaxy)

3034 - Gal - 8.8 (M82 - Cigar Galaxy)

3077 - Gal - 9.9

3079 - Gal - 10.8

3184 - Gal - 9.8

3198 - Gal - 10.3

3310 - Gal - 10.8

3359 - Gal - 10.6

3556 - Gal - 10 (M108)

3587 - P/N - 10.4 (M97 - Owl Nebula)

3610 - Gal - 10.8

3613 - Gal - 10.9

3631 - Gal - 10.4

3675 - Gal - 10.2

3718 - Gal - 10.8

3726 - Gal - 10.4

3877 - Gal - 11

3893 - Gal - 10.5

3898 - Gal - 10.7

3941 - Gal - 10.3

3945 - Gal - 10.9

3953 - Gal - 10.1

3982 - Gal - 11

3992 - Gal - 9.8 (M109)

3998 - Gal - 10.7

4026 - Gal - 10.8

4036 - Gal - 10.7

4051 - Gal - 10.2

4088 - Gal - 10.6

4096 - Gal - 10.9

4605 - Gal - 10.3

5322 - Gal - 10.2

5457 - Gal - 7.9 (M101 - Pinwheel Galaxy)

5474 - Gal - 10.8

5585 - Gal - 10.7
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astrolover

astrolover

Posts : 95
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Age : 31

Constellation Guide URSA MAJOR Empty
PostSubject: Re: Constellation Guide URSA MAJOR   Constellation Guide URSA MAJOR EmptyFri Aug 26, 2011 5:57 pm

Holy crap!!!!! Thats a wonderful guide there!!!! thanks! Very Happy
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TomK

TomK

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PostSubject: Re: Constellation Guide URSA MAJOR   Constellation Guide URSA MAJOR EmptyFri Aug 26, 2011 5:58 pm

thnx! now i have somestuff to keep me busy! lol thanks! Smile
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astro_alan

astro_alan

Posts : 37
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Age : 39

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PostSubject: Re: Constellation Guide URSA MAJOR   Constellation Guide URSA MAJOR EmptyFri Aug 26, 2011 5:58 pm

real nice and easy to use guide.Cool!
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astromadpete

astromadpete

Posts : 7
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PostSubject: Re: Constellation Guide URSA MAJOR   Constellation Guide URSA MAJOR EmptyFri Aug 26, 2011 5:59 pm

excellent guide. Thanks mate. Your guides are very useful.
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