Star Log 2022-09-25 22:00 AKDT (Fairbanks, AK, US)

The skies were mostly clear last night when it started getting dark, so I stayed up until about 10:30pm to do a little star gazing. I would have liked to have stayed at it for longer, but I was tired, and it was a work night.

I took a few looks at Jupiter, and was able to see a small disc and the four moons as usual. My replacement higher-magnification lenses haven't arrived yet so I still can't see any detail on the planet's surface.

Jupiter and four moons

Names of the four moons

Something that struck me last night was just how wide the Pegasus constellation is. It wraps around something like 1/5th of the celestial longitude. Of course, constellation patterns are somewhat arbitrary, but it was interesting anyway.


I was trying to get a view of this Pegasus Cluster (M 15) off the bottom right tip, but I couldn't manage to find it. Looking at the charts again, I think I might have been looking in the wrong place.

Location of Pegasus Cluster (M 15)

I spent the rest of my time looking around Cygnus. This wasn't my original plan, but most of the rest of the sky still looked rather bright (sunlight? light pollution?) and Cygnus was in a patch of sky overhead which was much darker. There is a lot of good material to look at around Cygnus, anyway. I wasn't able to use my telescope, as it was just too difficult to slew around up there using my short telescope stand and my crude az/el mount. But I lay on the ground for a while looking up with my larger binoculars.

In the process, I found M 39, an open cluster near Deneb. There is, conveniently, a V-shaped or claw-shaped set of stars above Deneb which more or less points at M 39 and makes it easy to find repeatedly.

Location of M 39 near Deneb

Stellarium close-up of M 39

The area below Sadr, the middle star of Cyngus, is an interesting and beautiful region, and I would like to spend some more time studying it.

Beautiful field of stars below Sadr

A friend of mine has a telescope he is going to loan me, which someone else gave to him, but he hasn't been using recently. He couldn't remember the aperature, but from his rough descriptions is sounds like it might be a 6 inch or 8 inch reflector. If it is, that would be a nice upgrade from my current 60mm system.

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