Ursa Major

views updated May 17 2018

Ur·sa Ma·jor / ˈərsə ˈmājər/ Astron. one of the largest and most prominent northern constellations (the Great Bear). The seven brightest stars form a familiar asterism known by various names (esp. the Big Dipper and the Plow) and include the Pointers. ∎  [as genitive] (Ur·sae Ma·jor·is / ˈərsē məˈjôris/ ) used with a preceding letter or numeral to designate a star in this constellation: the star Delta Ursae Majoris.

Ursa Major

views updated May 18 2018

Ursa Major one of the largest and most prominent northern constellations (the Great Bear). The seven brightest stars form a familiar formation variously called the Plough, Big Dipper, or Charles's Wain, and include the Pointers.

Boswell's father, Lord Auchinleck (1706–82) gave the name Ursa Major to Dr Johnson.

Ursa Major

views updated Jun 11 2018

Ursa Major (Great Bear) Northern constellation, whose main pattern, consisting of seven stars, is known as the Plough or Big Dipper. Five of the Plough stars make up a cluster.