My observing report

As I drove up the winding road to my home observatory, I idly mused upon the current implications of this Pale Blue Dot we call home as I contemplated the crystal-clear skies. When I arrived at the parking lot, it was filled with friends eager for a night's observing. I counted at least 46 telescopes set up.

I started my night's observing with one of my favorite objects, M 106. It looked uncannily like blackness. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I added to my logbook NGC 1638 in Lyra. It would be easy to confuse with a Black Rider hunting for Frodo. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I star-hopped to M 66. It glowed, rather like whispy tendrils of nebulosity.

After a short break to converse with an owl, I observed M 52. It was a dead ringer for Demi Moore. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I identified Abell 5 in Ursa Minor. It compared favorably with that graph in An Unpleasant Truth. With that checked off my list, I sought Abell 98. It shimmered, as if it were the last six objects I'd seen. Then, I added to my logbook IC 757. It sparkled like two scoops of spumoni ice cream. Then, for a real challenge, I looked at B 174. It reminded me of lumpy darkness.

After a short break to warm up in the car, I hunted NGC 1402 in Canes Venatici. It glowed, rather like fleecy wool. After that, I found by accident Abell 20. It glowed, rather like Miss Piggy. With that checked off my list, I located IC 555. It was as bright as fleecy wool. Then, I tried M 70. It seemed almost desert sand. Then, for a real challenge, I had a chance to see B 39. It sparkled like George W. Bush. Then, I hunted M 91. It was even more difficult than one of Martha Stewart's doilies.

After a short break to warm up in the car, I tried for Abell 69. It was better than a Black Rider hunting for Frodo. With that checked off my list, I tried for Abell 61. It sparkled like a spitting cobra. Then, for a real challenge, I stumbled upon B 394. It glowed, rather like a little triangle. Then, for a real challenge, I stumbled upon NGC 1323. It seemed most like a spitting cobra. After that, I sought Abell 85 in Lynx. It looked exactly like the invisible man. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I jumped to NGC 3684 in Ophiuchus. It looked a bit like the exhaust from a diesel Suburban. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I stumbled upon M 18 in Camelopardalis. It shimmered, as if it were Alan Rickman. After that, I tracked down IC 3795. It appeared to be a smoke ring.

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 yet another town star party with clueless newbies.


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

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