The constellation of the Great Bear

The seven bright stars of the northern sky, which we now know as the constellation of the Great Bear, have always attracted the attention of all human civilizations. In all periods of history the Great Bear was located near the north pole of the world, and its stars are not touching. In all civilizations, they also merged into one constellation, although under different names.

The seven bright stars of the northern sky, which we now know as the constellation of the Great Bear

In ancient Egypt, the Great Bear was perceived as the thigh (back foot) bull, and as depicted in the sky, for example, in the Dendera Zodiac. In China, the seven bright stars forming the northern constellation of the Great Bear carriage depicted, in which the great celestial emperor toured his Celestial Empire. The Indians of America stars in the handle of the Great Bear were the three hunters who are chasing prey (bear, wolf or deer). In Slavic and Muslim peoples of this constellation of the Great Bear was also a wagon or economic or ritual purpose. In many cases, the stars united in a purely utilitarian household items - bucket pots for drinking. Finally, the ancient Greeks constellation of the Great Bear associated with the cold north and the bears living there, so in the polar region of the sky and were created the constellation of the Great Bear. From the Greeks and then all European culture embraced this interpretation.

By tradition, the bright stars of each constellation denoted Greek letters (usually in descending order of their brightness, for the constellation of the Great Bear - in the order of arrangement of the stars in the picture, "bucket"). However, it is not difficult to notice that the proper names of stars in the constellation of the Great Bear preserved by Arab astronomy.

The constellation of the Great Bear is one of the largest constellations of the entire sky; existing borders (since 1922) it occupies 1280 square degrees, and second only to the Virgo and Hydra area. Naturally, with a decrease in the brightness of stars in the sky their number increases almost exponentially.

The constellation of the Great Bear is about 3% of the entire sky, moreover, it is located outside the Milky Way, where the concentration of the stars of the galactic background is considerably higher. Therefore, we can estimate the upper limit of the number of stars, which has the Great Bear from 1% to 0,1% of the total number of stars, 108109.

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