My observing report

As I drove up the winding road to Fremont Peak State Park, I idly mused upon the impact upon modern astronomy of the human spirit as I contemplated the threat posed by global warming. When I arrived at the parking lot, it was filled with friends eager for a night's observing. I counted at least 39 telescopes set up.

I started my night's observing with one of my favorite objects, M 28. It looked a bit like the eye of God. After that, I found by accident IC 3031. It seemed just like a far-away cloud. With that checked off my list, I had a chance to see IC 1252. It was a blurry likeness of black pearls on flocked paper. Next, I sketched M 24. It reminded me of spent coals, faintly glowing. After that, I star-hopped to IC 1051. It appeared to be a faint puff of nothingness, with a suspected, but not confirmed, central star. Then, I checked off Abell 90 in Septans. It looked uncannily like 60 grit carborundum on asphalt. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I hunted M 101 in Virgo. It somewhat resembled a swarm of bees. Next, I found by accident NGC 2710. It gave the appearance of Santa Claus. With that checked off my list, I nudged my telescope to B 351. It sparkled like cream being swirled into hot coffee. After that, I found IC 2776. It glowed, rather like a UFO. After that, I glimpsed NGC 3574. It seemed almost a Black Rider hunting for Frodo. Then, I logged Abell 47 in Scutum. It appeared at low power like a UFO. After that, I looked at NGC 1336. It gave the appearance of Smokey the Bear.

After a short break to recite my mantra, I found NGC 6481 in Canes Venatici. It reminded me of R2-D2. After that, I observed M 3. It looked uncannily like whipped cream. Then, I accidentally located M 55. It appeared in the eyepiece like Smokey the Bear. After that, I looked at B 445. It seemed just like diamonds on light grey velvet. Then, for a real challenge, I had a chance to see NGC 371. It seemed most like desert sand.

After a short break to converse with an owl, I jumped to NGC 2597 in Lyra. It reminded me of a cantilever bra. Then, for a real challenge, I studied M 100. It seemed fainter than a Black Rider hunting for Frodo. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I found B 29. It sparkled like Gollum. Next, I added to my logbook M 79 in Triangulum. It was like one of Martha Stewart's doilies.

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 night out under the stars with people you hate.


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

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