Mighty Merak in Ursa Major

December 27, 2023

2024-01-22 054143

Photographer: Greg Parker  

Summary Author: Greg Parker; Jim Foster  

Front and center here is the bright star Merak in the asterism of the Big Dipper – in the constellation of Ursa Major. It’s one of the Dipper’s pointer stars, showing the way to the North Star. Some 80 light years from us, Merak is the 2nd brightest star in Ursa Major. Compared to the Sun, it’s nearly 3 times as big, but owing to its considerably greater luminosity, it’s much brighter than our home star. Note that to the right of Merak, just below a bright orange star, is the asterism known as the "Broken Engagement Ring." Photo taken at the New Forest Observatory in Hampshire, England. 


Hampshire, U.K. Coordinates: 51.063202, -1.308000

Related Links:

The Big Dipper