Ursa Major, the Greater Bear, walks upright beneath the North Celestial
Pole. The dominant figure, the Big Dipper
(Plough in Britain), mark its hindquarters and tail (the stars, in order
from the lip of the bowl through the end of the handle,
Dubhe, Merak, Phecda, Megrez, Alioth, Mizar, and
Alkaid). The "legs" splay down and to the right, the "snout"
(represented by Muscida) up and
to the right. The star Alcor is just barely seen separated from Mizar,
while 78 UMa is easy to spot to the left and a bit up from Alioth.
The central five stars of the Dipper (and several others) constitute
a physical group, the Ursa Major Cluster.
Ursa Major contains 3 sets of "leaps,"
closely-spaced pairs of stars that (from
old Arabia) represent gazelle tracks. The "third
leap" is to the right (made of Talitha on top, Kappa on the bottom);
the second is down and to the right (the two called Tania Borealis
and Tania Australis); the first (made of Alula Borealis and Australis) is off
the lower edge of the picture. All three "leaps" appear in the
image of Leo Minor, part of which lies in the lower
right-hand corner. Al Kaphrah (Chi) is down and just to the right of
Phecda. Psi UMa is immediately to the left of of the
"second leap," while Theta UMa is immediately to the
left of the "third leap." Phi is immediately to the left of
Theta. Upsilon is up and to the right of Dubhe and Merak,
while 23 UMa lies just above Upsilon. If you are looking for 10 UMa, it's
off the picture to the right and in Lynx,
while Groombridge 1830 Ursae Majoris can be found near
Canes Venatici and 83 UMa near the
fingers of Bootes
Kochab of Ursa Minor is the brighter of the two near the top edge to the left, while Cor Caroli in Canes Venatici is near the lower edge to the left. Between Kochab and the Dipper is Thuban in Draco. The hand and fingers of Bootes lie up and to the left of Alkaid, the brightest of which is Theta. At the right edge, below Theta, is Lambda Boo. Iota and Kappa Boo lie just to the right of Theta. Theta, Iota, and Kappa are oddly called Asellus Primus, Secundus, and Tertius, which refer to "donkeys.".
To see a labelled image, push the star:
See the two Dippers together with Draco.
Ursa Major has three stars with orbiting planets: 47 UMa, Pi-2=4 UMa, and HR 4067.
See Ursa Major from Bode's Uranographia of 1801.