Adhara (ε Canis Majoris)
A binary star, in the constellation → Canis Major, 470 → light-years distant from Earth. The main star possesses an apparent magnitude of +1.5 and belongs to the spectral classification B2 II. The +7.5 magnitude companion star is 7''.5 apart from the main star.
Adhara, from Ar. adhârâ "virgins," plural of adhrâ' "virgin".
Azârâ, from Ar. Adhara.
Alioth (ε Ursae Majoris)
The brightest of the seven stars that make up the → Big Dipper → asterism. Alioth shines at magnitude +1.77 from a distance of about 80 → light-years. It is a white star of → spectral type A0pCr. The spectrum of the star is characterized by abnormally strong lines of → chromium and → europium.
Alioth, from Aliot, from Ar. Alyat (
Jown, from Ar. Jawn "black camel or horse".
Alkaid (η Ursae Majoris)
The second brightest star in → Ursa Major and the end star in the handle of the → Big Dipper. Alkaid is a blue B3V main sequence star of apparent magnitude of 1.86 and lies at about 100 → light-years.
Alkaid "leader, chief," from Al-Qa'id al-Banat an-Na'ash "the leader of the daughters of the bier," from Banat "daughters" + Na'ash "bier". Banat an-Na'ash is the Ar. name of the constellation.
Qâed from Ar. Al-Qa'id.
Sag-e Bozorg (#)
Fr.: Grand Chien
The Greater Dog. A → constellation in the southern hemisphere which contains → Sirius, the brightest star of the whole sky. Approximate position: R.A. 7 h, Dec. -20°; abbreviation CMa; genitive form Canis Majoris.
L. Canis Major, from canis "dog"
(cf. Gk. kuon, Skt. svâ-, Av. spâ-, Pers. sag;
PIE *kwon-) + Maior "larger," from
L. major, irregular comp. of magnus "large, great"
(cf. Gk. megas, Av. maz-, masan-, mazant- "great, important,"
Skt. mah-, mahant-, Mod.Pers. meh; PIE *meg- "great").
Sag-e Bozorg, from sag, see the above paragraph, + bozorg "large, great," Mid.Pers. vuzurg, O.Pers. vazarka- "great," Av. vazra- "club," Skt. vajati, vaja- "strength," vajra- "Indira's thunderbolt," L. vegere "to be lively," PIE *weg- "to be strong, be lively."
Dubhe (α Ursae Majoris)
The second brightest star in the constellation → Ursa Major with a → visual magnitude of about 1.8. It lies at the front of the → Big Dipper's bowl and with → Merak (Beta UMa) makes the famous → Pointers. α Ursae Majoris is a → supergiant of type K0 IIIa and has a → companion.
From Ar. al-dubb (
Dobbé from Ar., as above.
Greater in size, extent, or importance.
M.E. majour, from O.Fr., from L. major, irregular comparative of magnus "large, great," cognate with Pers. meh "large, great," as below.
Mehin comparative and superlative of meh "great, large" (Mid.Pers. meh, mas; Av. maz-, masan-, mazant- "great, important," mazan- "greatness, majesty," mazišta- "greatest;" cf. Skt. mah-, mahant-; Gk. megas; PIE *meg- "great") + -in superlative suffix.
Fr.: grand axe
The greatest diameter of an ellipse; it passes through the two foci.
Fr.: fusion majeure
The → merging of two spiral galaxies with roughly equal masses colliding at appropriate angles. The dynamical friction is so efficient that the galaxies merge after only a few perigalactic passages.
Fr.: planète majeure
A name used to describe any planet that is considerably larger and more massive than the Earth, and contains large quantities of hydrogen and helium. Jupiter and Neptune are examples of major planets.
Fr.: prémisse majeur
Fr.: terme majeur
A function, or an element of a set, that dominates others or is greater than all others. In other words, for a function f defined on the interval I, the point M such that for each x on I, f(x)≤ M. See also → minorant.
From Fr. majorant, from majorer "to increase, raise," from L. → major.
Mehân, from mehidan, from meh "great, large," → major.
The greater number, part, or quantity of a whole.
Megrez (δ Ursae Majoris)
One of the seven stars of the → Big Dipper, which links Ursa Major's tail to the Bear's hindquarters. Megrez is the dimmest of the Big Dipper stars at magnitude +3.3. It is an A3 dwarf, about 20 times more luminous that the Sun, lying 81 light-years away.
From Ar. al-Maghriz(
Merak (β Ursae Majoris)
A blue → dwarf star of → spectral type A1 with an → apparent magnitude of 2.37 in the constellation → Ursa Major. It lies 79 → light-years away and has a → luminosity almost 60 times solar, and a mass about triple that of the Sun. Although Merak ranks fifth in brightness in the → Big Dipper, it received the Beta designation from Bayer, who lettered the Dipper's stars from front to back.
From Ar. al-Maraqq (
Mirzam (β Canis Majoris)
The fourth brightest star in the constellation → Canis Major. It is a B1 → giant of magnitude 2.0 lying about 500 → light-years away. Mirzam is one of the brightest of the → Beta Cephei variable stars.
From Ar. al-Mirzam (
Mizar (ζ Ursae Majoris)
A star of visual magnitude 2.3 in the constellation → Ursa Major, which is the second star from the end of the → Big Dipper's handle. It forms a naked-eye double with → Alcor, lying at an angular separation of about 12 minutes of arc. Mizar is resolved into a 14''.4 → binary star (denoted A and B) with a probable period of thousands of years. Mizar A is a nearly equal-mass, → double-lined spectroscopic binary with period 20.54 days and → eccentricity of 0.53. The two components of Mizar A (denoted Aa and Ab) are both about 35 times as luminous as the Sun, and revolve around each other in about 20 days. Similarly, Mizar B is a → spectroscopic binary with a period of 175.57 days and an eccentricity of 0.46. Recent results suggest that Alcor is actually a binary and apparently → gravitationally bound to the Mizar system. This would make the Mizar-Alcor system a probable → sextuplet, lying at about 78 → light-years from Sun and the second closest such multiple known, after → Castor (Mamajek et al., 2010, AJ 139, 919).
Mizar, from Ar. al-Mi'zar (
Fr.: demi grand axe
Half the length of the major axis of an ellipse; a standard element used to describe an elliptical orbit. see orbital elements
Fr.: Syrtis Major
A dark triangular plateau near the Martian equator, located in the boundary between the northern lowlands and southern highlands of Mars. Syrtis Major is centered near at 8.4°N 69.5°E, extends some 1,500 km north from the planet's equator, and spans 1,000 from west to east.
From the classical Roman name Syrtis maior "the Gulf of Sidra" on the coast of Cyrenaica (today Libya)
Xers-e Bozorg (#)
Fr.: Grande Ourse
The Great Bear. An extensive and prominent constellation in the region of the north celestial pole, at approximately 10h 40m right ascension, +56° declination. The seven brightest stars of Ursa Major are known as the → Big Dipper. The region contains the planetary → Owl Nebula and the spiral galaxies M81 and M82. Abbreviation: UMa, Genitive: Ursae Majoris.
Ursa,from L. ursus "bear," cognate with Pers. xers, as below;
Major irregular comparative adj. of magnus "large, great,"
cognate with Pers. meh "great, large"
(Mid.Pers. meh, mas; Av. maz-, masan-, mazant- "great,
important," mazan- "greatness, majesty," mazišta-
"greatest;" cf. Skt. mah-, mahant-; Gk. megas;
PIE *meg- "great").
Xers "bear," dialectal Tabari aš; Mid.Pers. xirs, Av. arša- "bear;" cf. Skt. rksa- "bear;" Gk. arktos; L. ursus; PIE base *rtko- "bear;" bozorg "large, magnificient, great;" Mid.Pers. vazurg "great, big, high, lofty;" O.Pers. vazarka- "great;" Av. vazra- "club, mace" (Mod.Pers. gorz "mace"); cf. Skt. vájra- "(Indra's) thunderbolt," vaja- "strength, speed;" L. vigere "be lively, thrive," velox "fast, lively," vegere "to enliven," vigil "watchful, awake;" P.Gmc. *waken (Du. waken; O.H.G. wahhen; Ger. wachen "to be awake;" E. wake); PIE base *weg- "to be strong, be lively."