My observing report

As I drove up the winding road to my driveway, I idly mused upon the inner workings of my 401K as I contemplated the night's aurora display. When I arrived at the parking lot, it was filled with friends eager for a night's observing. I counted at least 14 telescopes set up.

I started my night's observing with one of my favorite objects, M 17. It seemed fainter than its Hubble photograph. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I hunted IC 3864. It somewhat resembled a Black Rider hunting for Frodo. Then, for a real challenge, I observed M 109. It shimmered, as if it were a little triangle. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I jumped to Abell 87. It sparkled like 60 grit carborundum on asphalt. With that checked off my list, I helped a beginner find B 619. It was as bright as Miss Piggy. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I tried NGC 7. It was easy, just like a nebula.

After a short break to do some yoga, I observed IC 1457. It was as bright as diamonds on light grey velvet. Then, for a real challenge, I sought IC 1119. It took me back to the first time I saw a smoke ring. After that, I sought NGC 2908. It reminded me of a dodo bird, extinct but for this celestial likeness.

After a short break to grab a cheese snack, I studied M 40. It took me back to the first time I saw smoke signals from a rampaging Iroquois band. Next, I looked at IC 2988. It appeared to be blackness. Then, I nudged my telescope to NGC 5239. It looked a bit like 60 grit carborundum on asphalt. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I helped a beginner find B 261. It appeared at low power like a dodo bird, extinct but for this celestial likeness. Then, for a real challenge, I logged Abell 56. It was as bright as the eye of God. With that checked off my list, I found NGC 178. It was not quite as bright as whipped cream. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I found B 453. It compared favorably with cream being swirled into hot coffee. Then, for a real challenge, I showed some guests B 301. It would be easy to confuse with nothing I'd ever seen before. Next, I located M 103 in Lynx. It appeared at low power like diamonds on black velvet. Then, I checked out M 28. It glowed, rather like a spitting cobra. Next, I hunted for NGC 3421 in an unknown constellation that looked like a toaster. It somewhat resembled whipped cream. With that checked off my list, I went for M 79. It looked like dancing elephants.

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 fetid Dingo's kidneys.


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

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