My observing report

As I drove up the winding road to Mount Tamalpais, I idly mused upon the impact upon modern astronomy of chaos theory 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 8 telescopes set up.

I started my night's observing with one of my favorite objects, M 52. It reminded me of its Hubble photograph. Next, I went for M 80. It looked exactly like yet another globular. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I showed some guests NGC 1665 in Lyra. It appeared to be an inflamed monkey butt. Then, I showed some guests IC 1292 in a group of stars that looked like an armadillo. It was a blurry likeness of Gollum. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I sought M 2. It was like a cantilever bra. After that, I nudged my telescope to Abell 96 in Scorpius. It looked exactly like a far-away cloud. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I hunted B 562 in an unknown constellation that looked like a toaster. It appeared at low power like a little triangle. With that checked off my list, I found by accident NGC 293 in Canis Major. It seemed almost Demi Moore. After that, I studied Abell 5. It would be easy to confuse with fleecy wool. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I sought B 459 in Antlia. It was a blurry likeness of Alan Rickman.

After a short break to empty my output buffers, I jumped to Abell 28. It seemed most like a hamburger. (Hmm, it had been a while since dinner). Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I glimpsed NGC 2252. It seemed almost the exhaust from a diesel Suburban. After that, I tried for NGC 1249 in Virgo. It reminded me of a whale spouting. Then, for a real challenge, I checked out NGC 6139. It gave the appearance of smoke signals from a rampaging Iroquois band. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I studied Abell 18. It took me back to the first time I saw an edge-on barred spiral with a sharp dust lane. Then, I studied IC 3190. It gave the appearance of a smoke ring. Next, I helped a beginner find IC 1588. It seemed just like diamonds on light grey velvet. Then, for a real challenge, I logged Abell 11. It was not quite as bright as fleecy wool. After that, I located NGC 5246. It sparkled like Krylon Ultra-Flat Black.

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 State of the Union address.


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

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