Star Log 2022-08-30 3:00 AKDT (Fairbanks, AK, US)

I had to get up with the baby this morning at 2am, but I was rewarded afterwards with a good view of the southern sky, as well as some mild auroral activity. There was some wispy clouds toward the horizon, but not nearly as thick as the cloud cover I had observed in the day time. Having recently become interested in amateur astronomy, I was amazed how much additional detail could be picked up with just a simple pair of binoculars. I have some Bushnell 4x30 Powerview binoculars — I can't remember from where I got them.

I didn't take any photographs, but I have provided some Stellarium screenshots corresponding to some items I noticed. I set the light pollution setting in Stellarium to maximium, to more faithfully reproduce the brightness levels I observed. I find at this point that, looking towards the south and east, I position everything in my mind relative to Cassiopia, with its distinctive "W" shape.


Something else that really jumps out at me is the Pleiades cluster, which is fascinating to view with the binoculars.


I remember close by a bright star in-between two dim stars, and then a lot more stars around it when I zoomed in with the binoculars. Looking later with Stellarium, I believe the bright star is Mirfak, part of the Perseus constellation.


I was interested also in this lower part of Perseus, where it sort of branches out at the bottom:

ε Per

Bright Capella stood out, part of the Auriga constellation.


I recall off to the right of Cassiopia, a good distance, is a bright star, which I think is Deneb:


I caught some beautiful detail in some clusters towards the north-west sky, but I can't remember enough detail to be able to reproduce them for you in Stellarium.

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