Star Log 2022-09-10 22:30 AKDT (Fairbanks, AK, US)

After the failure last night, I was feeling rather discouraged. But I continued to pray, and I noticed the forecast predicting lighter cloud cover around 10pm. So, I stayed up a bit later than usual, and was blessed with a great hour of star gazing, mainly toward the southern sky.

I had done a little research before hand, and so I was hoping to see Jupiter a little to the left of the moon tonight. I was not disappointed — Jupiter was brilliant. My binoculars are not powerful enough to actually view the disc, but the brightness of it certainly was attention-getting. The brightness is not well-captured in Stellarium, but this gives you an idea of the position of it:

Jupiter next to the moon

I was trying to avoid looking at the moon itself, wanting to preserve my night vision.

In the southern sky, the first thing I noticed was bright Vega, although I didn't know it was Vega right away. I took notes and clearly remember the two stars to the left of it, and four bucket-shaped stars a little more to the left. There is an interesting trail of stars coming off the bottom right star of the bucket.

Vega and nearby stars

Vega is part of the Lyra constellation — the celestial harp:

Lyra constellation

Soon, the skies became a little clearer, and I was able to see the four center stars of Cygnus, up higher and to the left.

Cygnus next to Lyra

I noticed Deneb and the four moderately bright stars that make a sort of half-circle to the left of it.

Deneb and nearby stars

I had also noticed the beautiful trail of stars that come down and right of Sadr.

Sadr and nearby stars

Around the same Azimuth as Cygnus, but much lower on the horizon, I was able see bright Altair. I noticed it with the two stars just above it, which make a triangle shape.


I took a brief look toward the north, wanting to further cement my mental image of the celestial sphere. Something which struck me is how dim Polaris is compared to the other stars I had looked at that night. It is actually somewhat difficult to find, if you don't already know which direction is north, or have a good view of the constellations that surround it.

The North Star

Lastly, I took a good look at the moon. I haven't learned too much yet about the landmarks and the libration and such, but I had a clear view, and it was an attractive full moon.

Full moon

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