is also a constellation
Most of the legends and mythos surrounding Ursa Minor can be found by reading the writeup on Ursa Major. Additionally, there is an American Indian legend concerning Ursa Minor. A hunting party had lost their way, so they prayed to the Great Spirit to point their way home. A little girl appeared to them, and said she was the spirit of the Pole Star. She had been sent to guide them home. They followed the girl, and they indeed arrived safely home. From that point in time, the Indians called the Pole Star the 'Star that Never Moves'. When the members of the lost hunting party died, they were transported to the sky to follow their Pole Star forever.
Important stars of Ursa Minor:
Yildun * Kochab
Note: Polaris, or the North Star, is actually a
trinary star system. Polaris itself is a
Cepheid variable with a period of 3.97 days.
The North Star is approximately the same degree above the horizon as the observer is north of the equator. It is approcahing us at about 11 miles per second. Currently, it is 407 light-years away, and is approximately 2,500 times brighter than our own sun.
Ursa Minor is also known as the Little Bear and the Little Dipper.