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Mizar


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Edward Charles Pickering (1846—1919)

 

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The star Zeta Ursae Majoris, an A1 dwarf of magnitude 2.2, distance 86 l.y. It forms a naked-eye double with Alcor, but the two are not a binary pair. However, a closer companion of magnitude 4.0 is connected. In 1889 E. C. Pickering found that Mizar is a spectroscopic binary. Mizar was therefore the first telescopic binary and the first spectroscopic binary to be discovered. The 4th-magnitude companion is also a spectroscopic binary.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.


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