My observing report

As I drove up the winding road to another winding road only known to those from my support group, I idly mused upon the deep mystery of the internet as I contemplated the threat posed by global warming. When I arrived at the parking lot, it was filled with friends eager for a night's observing. I counted at least 14 telescopes set up.

I started my night's observing with one of my favorite objects, M 70 in Ursa Major. It was easy, just like George W. Bush. With that checked off my list, I looked for and suspected NGC 520 in an unknown constellation that looked like a toaster. It was easy, just like the invisible man. Then, I stumbled upon B 539. It seemed fainter than two scoops of spumoni ice cream. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I added to my logbook M 51 in a group of stars that looked like an armadillo. It reminded me of one of Martha Stewart's doilies. Next, I glimpsed M 80. It reminded me of the invisible man. Then, for a real challenge, I accidentally located NGC 5874 in Orion. It appeared as the exhaust from a diesel Suburban. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I looked at Abell 94 in Lynx. It was better than the invisible man.

After a short break to check my email, I sought Abell 29. It was easy, just like dancing elephants. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I hunted Abell 36 in Hydra. It sparkled like an edge-on barred spiral with a sharp dust lane. Then, for a real challenge, I added to my logbook B 544. It appeared in the eyepiece like Krylon Ultra-Flat Black. Then, for a real challenge, I added to my logbook IC 2499 in Ursa Minor. It seemed just like desert sand. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I sketched B 589. It seemed almost R2-D2. After that, I checked off B 528. It reminded me of two scoops of spumoni ice cream. After that, I star-hopped to IC 3922. It appeared to be a far-away cloud. Then, for a real challenge, I helped a beginner find Abell 84. It reminded me of cotton candy. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I went for B 305. It would be easy to confuse with whispy tendrils of nebulosity. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I accidentally located M 97 in Canis Major. It seemed almost a smoke ring. After that, I found by accident IC 1285. It appeared at low power like a hamburger. (Hmm, it had been a while since dinner).

After a short break to have a smoke, I looked for and suspected IC 1139. It seemed most like Alan Rickman. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I went for Abell 77. It was a blurry likeness of smoke signals from a rampaging Iroquois band. Then, for a real challenge, I accidentally located Abell 90. It compared favorably with one of Martha Stewart's doilies. With that checked off my list, I identified B 525 in Camelopardalis. It was like Santa Claus.

After a short break to do some yoga, I added to my logbook B 281. It shimmered, as if it were Krylon Ultra-Flat Black. Then, I nudged my telescope to Abell 76. It looked uncannily like the clouds I'd seen earlier.

Finally, it was time to pack up and leave. As I drove home, I contemplated the events of the night, and realized that any night out under the sky with good friends is better than a root canal.


    ...Akkana (with help from David North, Jane Houston Jones, and Bill Arnett) .

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