The Ursa Major Groups

The Ursa Major Groups are a very distinctive band of galaxies in the northern hemisphere. Unlike the dense enviroment of the Virgo cluster, most of the major galaxies here are spiral galaxies. This band of galaxies is usually split into two distinct groups - Ursa Major North and Ursa Major South, but there is no real boundary between the two groups and the galaxies in both groups lie at approximately the same distance from us. The nearer Canes II Group is also in this part of the sky next to the Ursa Major South group.

The Ursa Major Groups

The Ursa Major North Group

This is a map of the Ursa Major North Group. This is most of the major galaxies in this group which lie north of 50 degrees which is a fairly arbitary boundary. There are no major elliptical galaxies here - most of the largest galaxies are spirals.

The Ursa Major North Group

Below - three of the galaxies in the Ursa Major North group. NGC 3631 (left), NGC 3953 (centre) and NGC 4088 (right) are three of the brightest spiral galaxies in this group.

NGC 3631 NGC 3953 NGC 4088
NGC 3631 NGC 3953 NGC 4088

The Galaxies of the Ursa Major North Group

This is a list of the largest galaxies in the Ursa Major North Group. There are 32 galaxies in this group with a diameter above thirty thousand light years.

  1              2        3      4     5      6    7     8
Name            Equatorial      Blue  Type  Size Size   RV
                Coordinates     Mag          (')  kly  km/s
                RA       Dec
NGC 3556      11 11.5  +55 40   10.9  SBc    8.1  130   865
NGC 3631      11 21.0  +53 10   11.1  Sc     4.9   80  1344
UGC 6399      11 23.4  +50 54   14.3  Sm     2.6   40   996
UGC 6446      11 26.7  +53 45   13.8  Scd    2.8   45   826
NGC 3718      11 32.6  +53 04   11.6  SBa    7.6  120  1177
NGC 3729      11 33.8  +53 07   12.1  SBa    2.9   45  1214
NGC 3733      11 35.0  +54 51   13.0  SBc    4.5   70  1360
UGC 6575      11 36.4  +58 12   14.6  Sc     1.9   30  1372
NGC 3756      11 36.8  +54 18   12.3  SBbc   3.8   60  1467
UGC 6616      11 39.3  +58 16   14.3  Sc     2.3   35  1306
NGC 3795      11 40.1  +58 37   14.2  Sbc    2.1   35  1364
UGC 6667      11 42.5  +51 36   14.3  Sc     2.6   40  1169
NGC 3850      11 45.6  +55 53   14.4  SBc    1.9   30  1324
NGC 3898      11 49.3  +56 05   11.6  Sab    3.7   60  1343
NGC 3913      11 50.6  +55 21   13.4  Scd    2.4   40  1125
NGC 3917      11 50.8  +51 49   12.5  Sc     5.0   80  1159
NGC 3922      11 51.2  +50 09   13.9  S0     1.9   30  1199
UGC 6840      11 52.1  +52 06   14.6  SBm    2.0   35  1234
UGC 6849      11 52.7  +50 02   14.9  Sm     1.7   30  1194
NGC 3953      11 53.8  +52 20   10.9  SBbc   7.6  120  1240
NGC 3972      11 55.8  +55 19   13.0  SBbc   3.7   60  1016
UGC 6917      11 56.5  +50 26   13.3  SBm    3.5   55  1108
NGC 3982      11 56.5  +55 07   12.1  SBb    2.3   40  1280
M109,NGC 3992 11 57.6  +53 23   10.8  SBbc   6.9  110  1229
NGC 3998      11 57.9  +55 27   11.6  S0     2.9   45  1211
UGC 6983      11 59.2  +52 42   13.4  SBc    3.1   50  1262
NGC 4026      11 59.4  +50 58   11.7  S0     4.8   75  1129
NGC 4085      12 05.4  +50 21   13.2  SBc    2.5   40   943
NGC 4088      12 05.6  +50 32   11.2  SBc    6.0   95   951
NGC 4102      12 06.4  +52 43   12.0  SBb    3.1   50  1026
NGC 4142      12 09.5  +53 06   13.9  SBcd   2.1   35  1337
NGC 4157      12 11.1  +50 29   12.1  SBb    6.6  105   967
Column 1: The usual name of the galaxy.
Column 2: The Right Ascension for epoch 2000.
Column 3: The Declination for epoch 2000.
Column 4: The blue apparent magnitude of the galaxy.
Column 5: The galaxy type: E=Elliptical, S0=Lenticular, Sa,Sb,Sc,Sd=Spiral,
          SBa,SBb,SBc,SBd=Barred Spiral, Sm,SBm,Irr=Irregular.
Column 6: The angular diameter of the galaxy (arcminutes).
Column 7: The diameter of the galaxy (thousands of light years).
Column 8: The recessional velocity (km/s) of the galaxy relative to
          the cosmic microwave background.

References:
The HyperLeda Database, (2003).

Shown below is the spiral galaxy M109. This is one of the brightest galaxies in the group. The Messier Catalogue contains 39 galaxies, and this is probably the galaxy in the catalogue which looks most like the Milky Way.

M109
M109

Properties of the Ursa Major North Group
Equatorial Coordinates RA=11h40m Dec=+4
Galactic Coordinates l=114 b=+60
Supergalactic Coordinates L=60 B=+2
Distance to the centre of the group 55 million light years
Number of large galaxies in the group 32

The Ursa Major South Group

This is a map of the Ursa Major South Group. These are most of the major galaxies in this group which lie south of 50 degrees. Like the Ursa Major North Group most of the major galaxies in this group are spiral galaxies.

The Ursa Major South Group

Below - three of the galaxies in the Ursa Major South group. NGC 3675 (left), NGC 3726 (centre) and NGC 3938 (right) are three of the brightest spiral galaxies in this group.

NGC 3675 NGC 3726 NGC 3938
NGC 3675 NGC 3726 NGC 3938

The Galaxies of the Ursa Major South Group

This is a list of the largest galaxies in the Ursa Major South Group. There are 28 galaxies in this group with a diameter above thirty thousand light years.

  1              2        3      4     5      6    7     8
Name            Equatorial      Blue  Type  Size Size   RV
                Coordinates     Mag          (')  kly  km/s
                RA       Dec
UGC 6161      11 06.8  +43 43   16.0  SBd    1.8   30   991
NGC 3600      11 15.9  +41 35   14.0  Sa     3.6   60   962
NGC 3675      11 26.1  +43 35   11.0  Sb     6.2  100  1001
NGC 3726      11 33.4  +47 02   10.9  SBc    6.0   95  1073
NGC 3769      11 37.7  +47 54   12.6  SBb    2.8   45   942
UGC 6628      11 40.1  +45 57   13.4  SBm    2.7   45  1071
NGC 3877      11 46.1  +47 30   11.8  Sc     5.2   85  1113
NGC 3893      11 48.6  +48 43   11.4  SBc    4.1   65  1177
UGC 6818      11 50.8  +45 48   14.7  Irr    1.9   30  1036
NGC 3938      11 52.8  +44 07   11.1  Sc     5.0   80  1037
NGC 3949      11 53.7  +47 51   11.7  Sbc    2.7   45  1010
UGC 6930      11 57.3  +49 17   12.9  SBcd   3.3   55   980
NGC 4013      11 58.5  +43 57   12.3  Sb     4.8   75  1064
IC 749        11 58.6  +42 44   13.0  SBc    2.2   35  1001
NGC 4010      11 58.6  +47 16   13.3  SBcd   3.9   60  1117
IC 750        11 58.9  +42 43   13.0  Sab    2.6   40   932
NGC 4051      12 03.2  +44 32   10.9  SBbc   5.1   80   934
UGC 7089      12 06.0  +43 09   14.0  Sd     3.2   50  1004
NGC 4100      12 06.1  +49 35   11.9  Sbc    5.2   85  1273
NGC 4111      12 07.1  +43 04   11.5  S0     3.3   55  1027
NGC 4117      12 07.8  +43 08   14.2  S0     1.9   30  1163
NGC 4138      12 09.5  +43 41   12.2  S0     3.0   45  1131
NGC 4143      12 09.6  +42 32   11.8  S0     2.9   45  1152
NGC 4183      12 13.3  +43 42   12.9  Sc     5.1   80  1157
NGC 4217      12 15.8  +47 06   12.1  Sb     4.9   80  1232
NGC 4220      12 16.2  +47 53   12.3  S0     3.6   60  1130
NGC 4346      12 23.5  +47 00   12.1  S0     3.2   50   980
NGC 4389      12 25.6  +45 41   12.6  SBbc   2.5   40   931
Column 1: The usual name of the galaxy.
Column 2: The Right Ascension for epoch 2000.
Column 3: The Declination for epoch 2000.
Column 4: The blue apparent magnitude of the galaxy.
Column 5: The galaxy type: E=Elliptical, S0=Lenticular, Sa,Sb,Sc,Sd=Spiral,
          SBa,SBb,SBc,SBd=Barred Spiral, Sm,SBm,Irr=Irregular.
Column 6: The angular diameter of the galaxy (arcminutes).
Column 7: The diameter of the galaxy (thousands of light years).
Column 8: The recessional velocity (km/s) of the galaxy relative to
          the cosmic microwave background.

References:
The HyperLeda Database, (2003).

Shown below is a picture of NGC 4051, another of the spiral galaxies in this group. NGC 4051 is known to be a Seyfert galaxy which means that it has a bright point-like nucleus probably powered by matter falling into a supermassive blackhole.

NGC 4051
NGC 4051

Properties of the Ursa Major South Group
Equatorial Coordinates RA=11h55m Dec=+46
Galactic Coordinates l=150 b=+68
Supergalactic Coordinates L=69 B=+1
Distance to the centre of the group 55 million light years
Number of large galaxies in the group 28
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