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Background information Edit
According to StarTrek.com, the star Merak (Bayer designation Beta Ursae Majoris) has been known since antiquity on Earth. This star system was located about 78 light years from the Sol system. Merak II was a M-class planet.
According to the Star Trek: Star Charts (p. 47) and the Stellar Cartography: The Starfleet Reference Library ("Federation Historical Highlights, 2161-2385"), the Merak (Beta Ursae Majoris) was a binary system of two A-class stars in the Alpha Quadrant.