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Alkaid

Benetnash, Eta Ursae Majoris, 85 Ursae Majoris

Proper NamesAlkaid, Benetnash
Bayer DesignationEta Ursae Majoris
Flamsteed Number85 Ursae Majoris
HR (BSC)5191
HD120315
ConstellationUrsa Major
Right Ascension13h 48m 21s
Declination+49° 12' 39"
Distance104 light years
32 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +1.9
Absolute: -0.7
Spectral ClassB3V Blue Dwarf
Optimum VisibilityApril / May (Usually visible from northern latitudes)

Alkaid is easy to locate in the sky - it is the 'handle' of the Plough or Big Dipper, and also the tip of the tail of the Great Bear itself. In fact, this is a blue star of variable brightness, about 100 light years from Earth.

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