Stargazing and Aurora, Fairbanks, AK, USA, 2023-11-24 (publ. 2023-11-26)

Last Friday morning (November 24th) I had an opportunity to go stargazing before work, due to mostly clear in the early hours. I made it out to the boat launch about 4:30am AKST. I just took the binoculars and the tripod. Here was the view toward the south-west, as reproduced in Stellarium:

Stellarium view toward the southwest

Stellarium view toward the southwest (with constellation art)

The constellation Canis Minor was conveniently positioned, so I scanned around it for a few minutes. I found an interesting pattern of stars to the SW of Procyon. The weather had warmed up a little, to +15 deg F, so I decided to do a sketch. Here is a scan of my logbook page:


logbook (lower resolution GIF)

Here is the same view reproduced in Stellarium:

Stellarium reproduction of binocular view from logbook

Stellarium reproduction of binocular view from logbook (with labels)

That sketch took up nearly all of my time, up until I needed to leave for work. A little research afterwards showed that one of the stars in this view, δ3 Cmi, is one of the rarer B spectrum stars, a very hot star with a blueish white color.

As always, I am thankful to the Creator for a good stargazing opportunity, and also that the weather was warm enough for sketching. This late in the year, it is rare to get warm weather and clear skies in the same night.

On the evening of the 21st, I had taken a few photos of the Aurora, which started just as I was leaving. I used my wife's Samsung smart phone camera, which has a night mode with a five second exposure. I did not do any post processing.

Aurora Photo A

Aurora Photo A (lower resolution)

Aurora Photo B

Aurora Photo B (lower resolution)

Here is a photo of the frozen Chena River, and the shore, lit up by the moon. I did not do any post-processing, except to crop my thumb out of the top of the image. :)

moonlit boat launch

moonlit boat launch (lower resolution)

Proxied content from gemini://

Gemini request details:

Original URL
Status code
Proxied by

Be advised that no attempt was made to verify the remote SSL certificate.