Latham, David W. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Last reviewed:January 2020
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The second-magnitude star that marks the bend in the handle of the Big Dipper, ζ Ursae Majoris. Mizar was the first telescopic visual binary to be discovered (1650), the first ever to be photographed (1857), and the first star discovered to be a spectroscopic binary (1889). Its distance to the Sun is 24 parsecs (7.5 × 1014 km or 4.7 × 1014 mi). See also: Binary star; Constellation; Ursa Major
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