Ursa Major

The Big Dipper

The Big Bear

According to Greek mythology, the Big Bear is Callisto, daughter of King Lacaon of Arcadia. Zeus saw Callisto one day in the forest and thought she was beautiful. Zeus disguised himself as Artemis and seduced Callisto. When she became pregnant she was banished. Shortly after Callisto gave birth to a son named Arcas, Hera, Zeus's wife found out and changed Callisto into a bear. In this form she wandered in the forest, her son unknowingly hunted her one day. Zeus saved Callisto by placing her in the sky as the constellation Ursa Major.

Big Dipper

The constellation Ursa Major contains a well-know group of stars called the Big Dipper. The handle is part of the tail. The big dipper has two named stars, Alcor and Mizar. If you follow the lip of the dipper up you will see Polaris, or the North Star.

Some Pictures of Ursa Major

Information taken from Constellation Posters found in Mrs. Jenkins' Science Room, 12/5/14.

Created by Mrs. Jenkins