Stargazing: Orion, Cephus: Fairbanks, AK, USA: 2024-02-14 (publ. 2024-02-15)

Not too much to report this time. I went out to the boat launch Wednesday morning, based on a NWS forecast of clear skies, which turned out to be overcast. Then I went out again in the evening, based on a forecast of mostly clear skies, which turned out to be partly cloudy growing towards mostly cloudy. It was a nice reminder, anyway, that God controls the weather, not the NWS!

When I arrived in the evening there was enough patches in the clouds that I decided to stick it out and see what I could. With the situation in the sky being tenuous, I decided not to mess around with binocs and scopes, and just do naked-eye stargazing. About half of Orion was visible, so I looked there for a while, looking for the dimmest stars I could see. The ones I recognized later on my star chart were all magnitude 4 at best.

There was some patches to the west also, but I didn't want to look in the direction of the bright waxing moon. It was also obscured by some thin clouds, otherwise I might have made the moon my target.

A small patch to the northwest drew my attention to a kite-like shape west of Cassiopia, which I learned is part of Cephus. I had never studied Cephus before, so the situation with the clouds forced me to learn a new constellation.

view towards NW

view towards NW (with labels)

Around 9:30pm AKST, the clouds became too thick for continued observation, at least at comfortable neck angles.

This seems like a good spot to put in a plug for an interesting gemlog I've been reading lately:

shizy's Stargazing Journals

He seems to have similar interests to myself, and similar motivations ("Soli deo gloria!") but is a much more active and organized amateur astronomer, currently using a nice 90mm refractor. Also, a recent convert to Emacs! :)


This work © 2024 by Christopher Howard is licensed under Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International.

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