My observing report

As I drove up the winding road to the middle of nowhere, I idly mused upon the current state of world hunger as I contemplated the shrinking ozone layer. 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 54. It was not quite as bright as blackness. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I nudged my telescope to Abell 36. It looked a bit like ripples of water. Next, I sought M 91 in Cygnus. It shimmered, as if it were a faint puff of nothingness, with a suspected, but not confirmed, central star. Then, I looked for and suspected NGC 2940. It would be easy to confuse with a whale spouting. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I sought M 31. It seemed almost a smoke ring. With that checked off my list, I checked out IC 812. It took me back to the first time I saw Santa Claus. Then, I looked for and suspected M 4. It was a dead ringer for cotton on velvet. Next, I looked for and suspected IC 1982 in Lynx. It would be easy to confuse with the clouds I'd seen earlier. Next, I logged M 96. It looked a bit like Gollum. Then, for a real challenge, I went for M 33 in Serpens. It seemed almost a spider. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I showed some guests IC 151. It was a dead ringer for a hamburger. (Hmm, it had been a while since dinner). Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I sought Abell 22 in Gemini. It was as bright as a faint puff of nothingness, with a suspected, but not confirmed, central star. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I looked at IC 798 in Lyra. It looked exactly like black pearls on flocked paper. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I went for B 203. It seemed just like blackness. Next, I located NGC 3739. It seemed most like nothing I'd ever seen before. Then, for a real challenge, I hunted NGC 91 in Serpens. It appeared at low power like the pillars of creation.

After a short break to drink a slurpie, I glimpsed NGC 4945 in Cygnus. It looked a bit like a Black Rider hunting for Frodo. Next, I located B 20. It appeared in the eyepiece like that graph in An Unpleasant Truth. With that checked off my list, I accidentally located NGC 2149. It sparkled like the eternal nothingness of being. Next, I added to my logbook Abell 11. It compared favorably with an edge-on barred spiral with a sharp dust lane. Then, for a real challenge, I found B 136 in that confusing part of Virgo. It looked uncannily like the last six objects I'd seen. With that checked off my list, I nudged my telescope to M 67. It glowed, rather like a hamburger. (Hmm, it had been a while since dinner). Next, I slewed to M 19. It glowed, rather like a hamburger. (Hmm, it had been a while since dinner). After that, I looked at M 99 in Ursa Major. It glowed, rather like its Hubble photograph.

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) .

(Don't forget to hit reload.)