Kochab (Beta Ursae Minoris)
Kochab (Beta Ursae Minoris) is the second brightest star in the constellation Ursa
Minor, marking the top and front of the Little Dipper. Its Arabic name
(also given as Kocab) is obscure and may simply mean "star." Together with
the other bowl star, Pherkad (Gamma UMi), they make the Guardians of the
Pole. Polaris is only a temporary pole star that will get better into the next century and then will begin to shift
away. About the year 1100 BC, the pole made a reasonably
close pass to Kochab, and there are old references to this star being called
|Ursa Minor, with Kochab labeled
Kochab has exhausted its core supply of hydrogen and is an evolving orange
giant star probably at the stage of helium-burning.
It is also classified as a mild barium star.
||126 ± 3 light-years (38.8 ± 0.8 pc)
||R.A. 14h 50m 42.3s,
Dec. +74° 9' 20"
||Kocab, Kochah, 7 Ursae Minoris,
HR 5563, BD +74 595, HD 131873,
GCTP 3373.00, SAO 8102, FK5 550,