Ursa Major

Ursa Major
the Great Bear
from You Are Here
at Miami International Airport

Ursa Major by Day

"Ursa Major, or the Great Bear, is the most easily recognized and most widely known of all the constellations (with seven stars making up the cup and handle of the Big Dipper). In all the records of an astronomical character that have come down to us we find allusions to this famous group of northern stars. It is unquestionably the most ancient of all the constellations, and universally known as 'the Bear".
Ursa Major by Night

Legend relates that Callisto, a nymph, the beautiful daughter of Lycaon, King of Arcadia, incurred the jealous wrath of Juno. jupiter, fearing Callisto would suffer injury at Juno's hands, transformed her into a bear. Juno on perceiving this induced Diana to kill the bear in the chase, but Jupiter placed his favourite out of harms way in the starry skies. Callisto's son Arcas afterwards became the constellation Ursa Minor.
Ursa Major and Lynx by Day
Ursa Major and Lynx in the Evening

The Arabs also had a consistent figure in the Bier with three mourners following. The title "the Bier" is so similar to the most universal appellation "the Bear" that we might almost suppose that the latter title was a confused rendering of the former.

(Clockwise) Draco, Ursa Minor, Auriga, Lynx, Ursa Major, Canes Venatici, Bootes, Corona Borealis

In some time antedating history, nomads of the east familiar with the constellation of "the Bier" may have reached North America and there conveyed their conception of this star group to the Indians, who translated the idea into terms familiar to their lives (the Bear)
Up shot
The ancients associated the idea of dancing with Ursa Major and the other circumpolar constellations and they not infrequently mention "the dances of the stars" The two bears were imagined reeling around the pole like a pair of waltzers."

from Star Lore by William Tyler Olcott
Up shot 2

Follow the link below to see images of Ursa Major in progress

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