My observing report

As I drove up the winding road to the Peak, I idly mused upon the subtle meaning of TAC 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 10 telescopes set up.

I started my night's observing with one of my favorite objects, M 37. It looked a bit like ripples of water. Then, I nudged my telescope to B 88. It reminded me of a far-away cloud. Then, for a real challenge, I tried for Abell 19. It was not quite as bright as cotton candy. Then, for a real challenge, I went for B 366 in the western sky. It appeared at low power like a nebula. Then, for a real challenge, I had a chance to see IC 1407 in Ursa Minor. It looked uncannily like a glimmer of the Big Bang. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I tracked down M 34 in that confusing part of Virgo. It gave the appearance of a hamburger. (Hmm, it had been a while since dinner). After that, I looked for and suspected NGC 853 in Perseus. It was like a waterfall. Then, for a real challenge, I located NGC 3962. It seemed fainter than diamonds on light grey velvet. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I star-hopped to Abell 54. It glowed, rather like Alan Rickman. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I helped a beginner find IC 2638 in Orion. It was as bright as the clouds I'd seen earlier. Then, for a real challenge, I tried for B 118. It appeared to be one of Martha Stewart's doilies. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I tried Abell 25. It was not quite as bright as Smokey the Bear.

After a short break to chat, I helped a beginner find NGC 5134 in Serpens. It was as bright as diamonds on black velvet. Next, I slewed to IC 637 in Lepus. It reminded me of a spitting cobra. With that checked off my list, I nudged my telescope to Abell 38 in Septans. It looked uncannily like whispy tendrils of nebulosity.

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 sitting in a dentist's waiting room.


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

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