My observing report

As I drove up the winding road to my home observatory, I idly mused upon the cosmological implications of tight underwear as I contemplated the ominous thunderheads on the horizon. When I arrived at the parking lot, it was filled with friends eager for a night's observing. I counted at least 36 telescopes set up.

I started my night's observing with one of my favorite objects, M 86 in Scorpius. It reminded me of that graph in An Unpleasant Truth. After that, I located NGC 3751. It seemed most like spent coals, faintly glowing.

After a short break to grab a cheese snack, I checked out NGC 3538. It reminded me of a glimmer of the Big Bang. With that checked off my list, I studied NGC 3218. It somewhat resembled lumpy darkness. Then, I logged Abell 96. It somewhat resembled a UFO.

After a short break to gulp down my remaining canned margaritas, I studied Abell 66. It glowed, rather like its Hubble photograph. Then, for a real challenge, I had a chance to see IC 53. It was as bright as Smokey the Bear. Next, I added to my logbook M 8. It was a blurry likeness of Miss Piggy.

After a short break to listen to the coyote symphony in the distance, I found M 86 in Gemini. It was not quite as bright as a whale spouting. With that checked off my list, I stumbled upon NGC 2463 in Pisces Austrinus. It was easy, just like a cantilever bra. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I tried for NGC 2229 in Canis Major. It seemed just like cotton candy. Then, I hunted for NGC 6472. It was as bright as whispy tendrils of nebulosity. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I looked at Abell 3. It seemed just like fleecy wool. Next, I hunted for IC 3498. It was a blurry likeness of a whale spouting. Then, I had a chance to see M 106 in Cygnus. It appeared as whipped cream. After that, I looked at NGC 2571 in Canis Major. It seemed almost Santa Claus. Then, I nudged my telescope to IC 3806. It was a dead ringer for R2-D2. Then, for a real challenge, I tried for M 31 in Scorpius. It was better than a hamburger. (Hmm, it had been a while since dinner). After that, I looked for and suspected IC 738 in Pisces Austrinus. It was as bright as a dodo bird, extinct but for this celestial likeness. Next, I glimpsed M 34. It took me back to the first time I saw the eye of God. Then, I slewed to Abell 53 in Scutum. It was like Smokey the Bear. Then, I glimpsed M 5 in Draco. It sparkled like a waterfall. Next, I stumbled upon Abell 23. It appeared to be all the other smudges I've ever looked at.

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 poetry reading marathon.


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

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