My observing report

As I drove up the winding road to Pacheco, I idly mused upon the popularity of television as I contemplated the past week of rain. When I arrived at the parking lot, it was filled with friends eager for a night's observing. I counted at least 24 telescopes set up.

I started my night's observing with one of my favorite objects, M 93 in that confusing part of Virgo. It would be easy to confuse with Dubya. With that checked off my list, I logged M 80. It glowed, rather like one of Martha Stewart's doilies.

After a short break to drink a slurpie, I tried Abell 69 in Canes Venatici. It seemed fainter than the pillars of creation. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I checked off NGC 4554. It would be easy to confuse with smoke signals from a rampaging Iroquois band. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I glimpsed NGC 6055 in Scorpius. It reminded me of a little triangle.

After a short break to walk around, I tracked down IC 3356. It seemed just like desert sand. After that, I identified IC 688. It appeared in the eyepiece like a waterfall. Next, I sketched NGC 542. It was a blurry likeness of a waterfall. After that, I checked out B 185. It seemed just like fleecy wool. With that checked off my list, I located Abell 23. It reminded me of a nebula. With that checked off my list, I added to my logbook NGC 4031 in Virgo. It was even more difficult than 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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