I completely forgot that a couple of weeks ago, I had this in a post titled Funeral procession:
- Alkaid, Mizar, Alioth, Megrez, Phecda, Merak and Dubhe.
What am I talking about?
Bonus #1: Why are Merak and Dubhe useful?
Bonus #2: At least two things are special about Mizar. What are they?
Bonus #3: Why does this post have that title?
Why are Merak and Dubhe useful? Because they are the pointers to Polaris, the North Star.
At least two things are special about Mizar. What are they? One, Mizar It has a companion star called Alcor; together, they make a good test of normal vision. If you are able to tell them apart with the naked eye, your eyes are in good shape. Two, Mizar itself is a double star, in fact the first known one, discovered in 1650.
Better still, each of those double stars is itself a double; thus Mizar is a quadruple star, and the quartet has Alcor as a companion.
Why does this post have that title? Because various people have seen the constellation as such, its motion around Polaris reminding them of a funeral procession.
This constellation is, as Venu also points out, called Saptarishi in India.