What the constellation Big Bear looks


A group of stars that includes the most visible part of any constellation is called asterism. This asterism is the fragment of the Big Dipper, which has received in different times and in different peoples the names Plough, Ladder, Elk, Wagon, Seven Wise Men and even Funerary Stretchers and Plakalshitsa.


The most famous stars of asterism bear Arabic names. Four say that they make up the imaginary body of an animal: Dubhe (bear), Merak (lower back), Fekda (hip), Megretz (beginning of tail). The sad comparison with the hearse is reminiscent of the name of the last star in the Bucket handle — Alcaid (or Benetnash). In Arabic, both of these names merge into one expression: the leader of the placards sounds like “al Qaeda benet our”.


Since ancient times, a way of checking visual acuity is known with the help of the Big Dipper, or rather, the middle star in the handle of her bucket. It bears the name Mitzar and has a neighbor Alkor, nearsighted people invisible. This star pair is also an independent asterism Horse and Horseman. Attention: asterism, but not translation of names, as Mitzar means “loinbandage” or “kushak, belt”, and Alkor means “insignificant”, “forgotten”. There is a Latin proverb whose meaning is analogous to the expression “an elephant that I did not notice” from Krylov’s fable: “Sees Alcor, but does not notice the Moon (Vidit Alcor, at non lunam plenam)”. But in Indian astrology, the double star is the symbol of marriage, the married couple Vasishtha and Arundhati.


In the constellation of the Big Dipper, outside the pronounced Bucket, there is another interesting asterism known in Arabic astrology — Three Jumping Gazelle. These are three pairs of stars one distance apart, arranged on the same straight and similar to the hoof marks left by the gazelle.

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