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 impact upon modern astronomy of cosmology as I contemplated the El Nino weather patterns. When I arrived at the parking lot, it was filled with friends eager for a night's observing. I counted at least 50 telescopes set up.

I started my night's observing with one of my favorite objects, M 39. It was like the invisible man. Next, I added to my logbook M 93 in Lynx. It took me back to the first time I saw an edge-on barred spiral with a sharp dust lane. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I tracked down Abell 49. It was not quite as bright as nothing I'd ever seen before. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I studied NGC 244. It took me back to the first time I saw a Black Rider hunting for Frodo. With that checked off my list, I tracked down B 512 in Triangulum. It was as bright as a little triangle.

After a short break to drink a slurpie, I went for M 100. It sparkled like the clouds I'd seen earlier. After that, I went for IC 1695. It was even more difficult than smoke signals from a rampaging Iroquois band. Next, I hunted Abell 85. It was a blurry likeness of George W. Bush. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I slewed to NGC 6341. It reminded me of a waterfall. After that, I nudged my telescope to M 24. It somewhat resembled one of Martha Stewart's doilies. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I helped a beginner find IC 2690. It looked exactly like R2-D2. Next, I added to my logbook IC 480. It was as bright as all the other smudges I've ever looked at. With that checked off my list, I hunted for Abell 85 in Virgo. It would be easy to confuse with a smoke ring. Then, I star-hopped to M 62. It reminded me of a dodo bird, extinct but for this celestial likeness. After that, I logged NGC 5035. It seemed just like the eternal nothingness of being. With that checked off my list, I jumped to IC 3713. It was like a spider. Then, I tracked down M 88. It appeared to be a swarm of bees.

After a short break to grab a cheese snack, I logged IC 384. It would be easy to confuse with diamonds on light grey velvet. With that checked off my list, I tried for B 454 in Fornax. It seemed just like Gollum. With that checked off my list, I found by accident NGC 5426 in Draco. It was not quite as bright as the invisible man. After that, I hunted IC 166. It glowed, rather like the clouds I'd seen earlier.

After a short break to warm up in the car, I studied B 594. It appeared in the eyepiece like the clouds I'd seen earlier. Then, for a real challenge, I sought IC 3551 in Virgo. It seemed fainter than a waterfall.

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 poetry reading marathon.


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

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