Star Log 2022-09-18 23:00 AKDT (Fairbanks, AK, US)

I prayed for good star-gazing weather yesterday morning, and was blessed with a great opportunity last night, with skies clearing up for most part around 9pm. The top item on my agenda was to try out the telescope again on Jupiter. Unfortunately, of the original three magnification lenses I had, I lost one in storage, and I discovered that another one had a cracked lens, which left only the lowest magnification. So I didn't have enough magnfication to get any detail on Jupiter's surface. But I was excited to be able to view four of jupiter's moons. The image I saw looked just like this screenshot from Stellarium, except that the moons were not disks but instead bright points, and also my view was inverted horizontally.

Four of Jupiter's moons

Here is a zoomed-in screenshot showing which planet is which:

Names of Jupiter's moons

Something else I wanted to try again was viewing the Andromeda Galaxy. In the end, I think my telescope is just too narrow (60 mm D.) so I never was able to see anything more than a smudge at that spot. But I did get a lot better at finding it by zig-zagging up a few stars:

Path to the Andromeda Galaxy

In that area of the sky, I took another look at Perseus, and for a while I enjoyed the beatiful starfield around Mirfak:

Location of Mirfak

Beautiful field of stars around Mirfak

Just off the left tip of Cassiopia, there is another interesting group of stars, which I was able to view with my larger binoculars:


Interesting stars left of Cassiopia

I also spent some time sweeping around Cygnus, on the other side of the sky. A little ways to the right of Deneb, there are three interesting stars which make a long, sharp triangle:



Triangle stars near Deneb

Zooming in on Deneb itself, it appeared as though Deneb was crowned with a wreath of stars.

Stars surrounding Deneb

Also, I took another close look around Vega. It is part of a triangle-shaped set of stars, with two stars close-together making up the top vertex.

Stars surrounding Deneb

The sky was very clear by 11:30pm, but I was getting rather tired, and I needed to go to work early in the morning. Some other interesting/helpful things I noticed tonight were: (1) the skies are a lot darker, from my location, toward the South and toward the West, away from the city; and (2) we have a lot of polar-orbit satellites zooming by all the time, such that it is not necessary even to look for them — they just zoom by randomly in my telescope or binocular view as I am looking at other things.

I'm hoping to get a higher magnification lens soon for my little telescope, to get a better view of Jupiter. I had a lead also on someone who might be willing to loan me their larger diameter telescope, which would be helpful with the faint star and galaxy viewings.

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