Across the water to the Princess in Chains….Celestial Highlights of the Autumn Sky

David Bernson

Constellations, Mythology, Star Names and a few select deep sky objects of unusual interest and surpassing beauty will be discussed.


Dave Bernson is a dedicated, lifelong, sky explorer and a 5-term president of the Salt Lake Astronomical Society (SLAS). His enthusiasm for astronomy is infectious. Before becoming president, Dave helped lead more than 100 astronomical expeditions to dark sky sites in Utah’s mountains and deserts. As president, Dave’s knowledge of constellations, expertise of star names, and skill as a telescope pilot were appreciated and recognized. His astronomical accomplishments include star hopping the Messier Marathon eight times. He is known as a visual specialist on the planet Mars, and has located and observed all (9) planets in a single night 33 times. In his lifetime, since age 12, he has seen over 50 comets. Dave’s deep sky interests include galaxy groups and clusters, interacting galaxies, and quasars. He has twice observed a quasar in the constellation Caelum with a visual magnitude of 17 and a red shift of 3.1. This red shift indicates a probable, original distance in excess of 10 billion light years. Dave has travelled widely in pursuit of solar eclipses. A trip to Lauca National Park in Northern Chile allowed him to enjoy a total eclipse on the morning of his 40th birthday. At this event, Dave was also able to extensively observe the southern night sky. Dave has designed, built and assisted with the construction of several dozen Dobsonian-mounted telescopes. They ranged from small refractors to a large, 20 inch, F4 reflector. And once, Dave had the privilege of participating in a mirror-making class with the revered guru of amateur astronomy, John Dobson. A Utah native, Dave has worked in health care, winter sports and education. He is still waiting to see a brilliant daylight comet and a naked-eye supernova! His career as an experimental cognitive cosmologist began at the age of 5 when he stuck his sisters lovely pink hair barrette into the electrical outlet.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - 09:00