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Ursa Major

Ursa Major is a constellation in the northern sky. Its Latin name means "greater (or larger) she-bear", standing as a reference to and in direct contrast with nearby Ursa Minor, the lesser bear. It was one of the original 48 constellations listed by Ptolemy in the 2nd century AD, and is now the third largest constellation of the 88 modern constellations. Ursa Major is visible throughout the year from most of the northern hemisphere, and appears circumpolar above the mid-northern latitudes. It includes the highly recognizable asterism known as the Big Dipper (US) or the Plough (UK).

Illustration: Sidney Hall; restoration: Adam Cuerden

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