· · · ·

Mizar is one of the seven prominent stars that form the asterism known as the Plough (or Big Dipper) in the constellation of Ursa Major, the Great Bear. Mizar is the middle star of the three that make up the 'handle' of the Plough, and is a quadruple system, consisting of two binary pairs. It is closely associated with the fainter Alcor (indeed, Mizar and Alcor are together sometimes called the 'Horse and Rider'). Alcor is itself a binary, which is thought likely to form an outlying member of the Mizar system a little over a light year away from the other four stars, and thus Mizar and Alcor together form a loose sextuple star system.


Related Entries