A 4th magnitude star lying in the constellation → Ursa Major (also called 80 Ursae Majoris) which forms a visual pair with the brighter star → Mizar (Zeta Ursae Majoris). Alcor is separated by about 11.5 minutes of arc from Mizar. It is a → main sequence star of type A5 with a mass of 1.8 Msun. Recent observations show that Alcor is a → spectroscopic binary, whose → companion has M-band (λ = 4.8 μm) magnitude 8.8 and projected separation 1''.11 (28 AU) from Alcor. The companion is most likely a low-mass (~ 0.3 Msun) active star which is responsible for Alcor's → X-ray emission detected by → ROSAT (LX ~ 1028.3 erg/s). Alcor is a nuclear member of the → Ursa Major star cluster (distance ~ 25 pc, age ~ 0.5 Gyr). The Alcor binary is probably → gravitationally bound to the Mizar star system, making them a → sextuplet with physical separation 0.36 pc, or 74,000 → astronomical units (Mamajek et al., 2010, AJ 139, 919).
Alcor, perhaps from Ar. al-khawr "the low ground."
Sohâ, from Ar. Suhâ.