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Proper NameMerak
Bayer DesignationBeta Ursae Majoris
Flamsteed Number48 Ursae Majoris
HR (BSC)4295
ConstellationUrsa Major
Right Ascension11h 1m 50s
Declination+56° 22' 57"
Distance80 light years
24 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +2.3
Absolute: +0.4
Spectral ClassA1V white main sequence star
Optimum VisibilityMarch (Usually visible from northern latitudes)
NotesMerak is a luminous white star possessing an extensive system of dusty rings extending out for several Astronomical Units from the star itself. With Dubhe, it forms the 'Pointers' that show the way towards Polaris at the Northern Celestial Pole.
Relative Galactic Position of Merak

The galactic position and direction of Merak relative to Earth's Sun. Note that, at this extreme scale, the two stars are effectively in the same place.

A star made especially prominent by its membership of the formation known as the Plough or Big Dipper. With Dubhe, it forms the two Pointers to the Pole Star, Polaris.


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