My observing report

As I drove up the winding road to Henry Coe State Park, I idly mused upon the higher implications of Yahoo P/E ratios as I contemplated the La Nina conditions. 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 91 in a group of stars that looked like an armadillo. It appeared in the eyepiece like spent coals, faintly glowing. Then, for a real challenge, I nudged my telescope to IC 3404. It looked like a spider. With that checked off my list, I looked at B 205. It was a dead ringer for whispy tendrils of nebulosity. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I hunted for IC 1424. It looked exactly like Alan Rickman.

After a short break to find a bush to pee on, I helped a beginner find Abell 82. It seemed fainter than desert sand. After that, I tried for B 99. It was not quite as bright as a cantilever bra. Then, for a real challenge, I checked off B 251 in Triangulum. It was even more difficult than Gollum. With that checked off my list, I tried for B 182. It sparkled like cream being swirled into hot coffee. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I tried Abell 4. It reminded me of two scoops of spumoni ice cream. Then, for a real challenge, I looked for and suspected B 45. It appeared as Alan Rickman. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I found B 447. It was a blurry likeness of a swarm of bees.

After a short break to converse with an owl, I sketched IC 3382. It was easy, just like one of Martha Stewart's doilies.

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 ebola.


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

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