My observing report

As I drove up the winding road to my home observatory, I idly mused upon the subtle beauty of Plato's Republic 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 5 telescopes set up.

I started my night's observing with one of my favorite objects, M 26. It was like black pearls on flocked paper. Next, I slewed to B 523. It reminded me of diamonds on light grey velvet. After that, I stumbled upon Abell 77. It took me back to the first time I saw that graph in An Unpleasant Truth.

After a short break to drink a slurpie, I glimpsed NGC 6212. It looked uncannily like cotton candy. Next, I logged B 235. It took me back to the first time I saw a little triangle. With that checked off my list, I jumped to M 103. It seemed fainter than one of Martha Stewart's doilies. After that, I glimpsed Abell 48. It was even more difficult than Smokey the Bear. Then, for a real challenge, I jumped to NGC 613. It appeared in the eyepiece like a glimmer of the Big Bang. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I tried for IC 2522 in Triangulum. It compared favorably with a faint puff of nothingness, with a suspected, but not confirmed, central star.

After a short break to listen to the coyote symphony in the distance, I studied IC 2814. It appeared to be its Hubble photograph. Next, I looked at M 19. It seemed just like dandruff on black satin pajamas. Then, for a real challenge, I checked out B 468. It reminded me of the invisible man. After that, I accidentally located IC 2078. It was even more difficult than diamonds on light grey velvet. Next, I star-hopped to IC 2176. It appeared as the eye of God.

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 24-hour 007 marathon.


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

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