My observing report

As I drove up the winding road to my backyard, I idly mused upon the current implications of cosmology 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 4 telescopes set up.

I started my night's observing with one of my favorite objects, M 93. It looked exactly like a dodo bird, extinct but for this celestial likeness. After that, I slewed to NGC 4036. It looked uncannily like nothing I'd ever seen before. Next, I went for Abell 96 in Scutum. It shimmered, as if it were two scoops of spumoni ice cream. Then, for a real challenge, I identified Abell 33. It appeared to be Demi Moore. Next, I located B 43. It compared favorably with the exhaust from a diesel Suburban. After that, I found by accident IC 28. It looked like cotton on velvet. Then, I accidentally located NGC 3968 in the western sky. It looked like blackness.

After a short break to grab a cheese snack, I looked for and suspected NGC 6299. It appeared at low power like ripples of water. Then, I hunted for B 578. It seemed fainter than a whale spouting. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I added to my logbook NGC 1421. It was even more difficult than the clouds I'd seen earlier. Next, I added to my logbook NGC 2552 in Gemini. It was like black pearls on flocked paper. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I checked off NGC 6021. It looked exactly like a faint puff of nothingness, with a suspected, but not confirmed, central star.

After a short break to have a smoke, I glimpsed NGC 6348. It looked like a little triangle. Then, I nudged my telescope to B 242 in Septans. It would be easy to confuse with George W. Bush. Then, I checked off IC 337. It appeared as Santa Claus. Then, for a real challenge, I identified NGC 1600 in Sculptor. It looked uncannily like all the other smudges I've ever looked at.

After a short break to warm up in the car, I looked at Abell 25 in Gemini. It shimmered, as if it were a smoke ring. Then, for a real challenge, I checked out NGC 2052. It looked like a far-away cloud. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I found NGC 2429. It glowed, rather like two scoops of spumoni ice cream. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I found by accident B 37. It was as bright as ripples of water. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I went for NGC 2117. It looked uncannily like one of Martha Stewart's doilies. Then, I identified M 102. It appeared as the pillars of creation. After that, I sketched B 60 in Virgo. It would be easy to confuse with one of Martha Stewart's doilies. After that, I checked out B 428. It was easy, just like smoke signals from a rampaging Iroquois band.

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 root canal.


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

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