General: Ursa Minor is Latin for "little bear," and get its name from some of the same myths concerning Ursa Major. Ursa Minor is most notable primarily because Polaris, the northern star, is currently part of the constellation as well as currently the northern most star. Ursa Minor is also notable is because it is associated with, a withered mirror image of, and located near the Big Dipper/Plough.
Stars: (Bayer Designation in parenthesis)
Polaris (α UMi): 430 ly (light years) from Earth; 2.02 m (apparent magnitude)
Kochab (β UMi): 126 ly from Earth; 2.07 m
Pherkad (γ UMi): 480 ly from Earth; 3.00 m
Yildun (δ UMi): 185 ly from Earth; 4.85 m
Urodelus (ε UMi): 347 ly from Earth; 4.21 m
Alifa al Farkadain (ζ UMi): 376 ly from Earth; 4.32 m
Anwar al Farkadain (η UMi): 97 ly from Earth; 4.95 m
Stars with Known Planets: 1
Latitudes Visible at: +90° to -10º
Best Visible: 21:00, June
Right Ascension: 15h
Messier Objects: 0
Noteworthy Facts: Polaris, the current "north star," has within the last few years been confirmed to be a triple star system via photographs from the Hubble. Polaris A, the brightest of three, has a companion Polaris Ab only 2 million miles away, and a third star in the system, Polaris B, sits approximately 250 million miles from Polaris A.
However, Polaris will not be the northern most star indefinitely. Because Earth is subject to the precession of the equinoxes and thus the axis of Earth is in a state of rotation like (and I hope you can visualize this) the point of a wobbling top slowly creating circles (full rotations); the Earth's axis makes a full rotation approximately every 26,000 years. Before Polaris, Thuban was considered the North Pole Star, next in line is Errai, Alrai, and then Alderamin, though each, like Polaris, will be approximate locators for true north.
The English word cynosure, which means something that serves as guidance or something that strongly attracts attention, comes from the Greek word kynósoura, which breaks down into "kynós," dog's, and "sourà," tail; kynósoura is also a Greek name for Ursa Minor.
Brightest Star: Polaris