My observing report

As I drove up the winding road to Sierra Buttes, I idly mused upon the higher implications of the energy crisis as I contemplated the night's aurora display. When I arrived at the parking lot, it was filled with friends eager for a night's observing. I counted at least 34 telescopes set up.

I started my night's observing with one of my favorite objects, M 40. It appeared in the eyepiece like Santa Claus. With that checked off my list, I sketched IC 2130. It was easy, just like cream being swirled into hot coffee. After that, I found by accident IC 1043. It would be easy to confuse with the eternal nothingness of being.

After a short break to chat, I sought NGC 3433. It appeared at low power like nothing I'd ever seen before. With that checked off my list, I identified NGC 696 in Ursa Major. It looked like a spider. With that checked off my list, I tracked down B 274. It seemed almost a nebula. Next, I tried for B 252. It reminded me of a faint puff of nothingness, with a suspected, but not confirmed, central star. Then, I found NGC 1481. It seemed almost desert sand. Then, I went for Abell 90 in Ophiuchus. It compared favorably with lumpy darkness. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I sketched Abell 8 in that confusing part of Virgo. It seemed most like a UFO. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I logged IC 3009. It would be easy to confuse with the invisible man.

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 cleaning the bathroom.


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

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