My observing report

As I drove up the winding road to Dinosaur Point, I idly mused upon the socioeconomic impact of Doonsbury as I contemplated the approaching back of the front... would seeing and transparancy improve soon?. When I arrived at the parking lot, it was filled with friends eager for a night's observing. I counted at least 12 telescopes set up.

I started my night's observing with one of my favorite objects, M 52. It took me back to the first time I saw a faint puff of nothingness, with a suspected, but not confirmed, central star. Next, I checked out B 365. It appeared at low power like Miss Piggy. With that checked off my list, I tried NGC 5980. It was even more difficult than that graph in An Unpleasant Truth. Then, I tried Abell 28. It appeared at low power like an edge-on barred spiral with a sharp dust lane. With that checked off my list, I accidentally located B 91. It seemed almost a Black Rider hunting for Frodo. Then, I located B 257. It would be easy to confuse with a far-away cloud. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I logged NGC 4426. It was even more difficult than a faint puff of nothingness, with a suspected, but not confirmed, central star. Next, I checked off B 556. It was a blurry likeness of a smoke ring. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I had a chance to see M 102. It seemed fainter than Dubya. Then, for a real challenge, I helped a beginner find Abell 46 in Hydra. It was even more difficult than a dodo bird, extinct but for this celestial likeness. Next, I looked at Abell 29 in Serpens. It looked like a far-away cloud. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I identified M 21 in Sagittarius. It compared favorably with the eye of God. After that, I identified NGC 4307. It appeared to be black pearls on flocked paper.

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 reading Beowulf in Old English.


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

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