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On this page I collect my observations of the double star Mizar in the constellation Ursa Major.
According to Stoyan, the distant pair of Mizar (zeta Ursae Majoris) and Alcor ("Little Rider") in the constellation Ursa Major/Big Bear is one of the famous double stars (12') for the naked eye. Sometimes, this combination is also referred to as an eye examiner, but it is actually too easy to recognize for being one. With the telescope, Mizar itself can be separated into two white, almost equally large stars (at 14.4 "distance). In the spectrogram they both turn out to be double stars themselves (optically indistinguishable).
According to Stoyan, this pair is one of the simplest and most beautiful objects for beginners, and I can confirm this.
Distance: 14.4" (Stoyan)
Distance: 80 light years (Stoyan)
Ranking: **** (Stoyan)
Alcor and Mizar in the handle of the Big Dipper (part of Ursa Major) (Image Courtesy of SkySafari Astronomy, www.simulationcurriculum.com)
Mizar in Ursa Major with Alcor on top of it (Image Courtesy of SkySafari Astronomy, www.simulationcurriculum.com)
All in all, too many observations to list them here all... Here are a few selected ones: