Great And Lesser Bear, Ursa Major And Minor, two constellations of the northern hemisphere. The former in the latitude of 45° N. never passes below the horizon. The most remarkable stars in it are a group of seven (marked by astronomers with the first seven letters of the Greek alphabet), which have been called the "wagon," "Charles's wain," and the "dipper." Four of them are arranged in an irregular quadrangle, constituting the body of the "dipper," while the other three are nearly in a straight line, and form the handle. Two of the stars in the body of the dipper range nearly with the north star, and are therefore called the "pointers." Mizar, in the handle, is a double star. Benetnash is a brilliant star of the first magnitude, according to some maps; in others it is set down at 1 1/2. - The Lesser Bear has in it a cluster somewhat resembling the dipper in Ursa Major, but has no stars larger than the third magnitude. Neither of these constellations has any resemblance to the figure of a bear, and Max Midler is of opinion that the Greeks, by whom they were first called after that animal, applied to them the term apktoc (bear) by a corruption of their original Sanskrit name arkshas, "the bright stars."