My observing report

As I drove up the winding road to Pacheco, I idly mused upon the current state of my life's work 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 22 telescopes set up.

I started my night's observing with one of my favorite objects, M 96 in a group of stars that looked like an armadillo. It seemed almost cream being swirled into hot coffee. With that checked off my list, I found B 368. It sparkled like its Hubble photograph. With that checked off my list, I tracked down NGC 198. It was like one of Martha Stewart's doilies. After that, I hunted IC 871. It seemed most like a dodo bird, extinct but for this celestial likeness. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I had a chance to see B 65 in Fornax. It was as bright as that graph in An Unpleasant Truth. Then, for a real challenge, I glimpsed B 156. It was like ripples of water. Next, I accidentally located M 13. It seemed just like the invisible man.

After a short break to check my email, I looked at IC 326 in Lepus. It was even more difficult than cotton candy.

After a short break to listen to Mozart, I checked out IC 2708 in Fornax. It gave the appearance of fleecy wool. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I added to my logbook NGC 3025. It shimmered, as if it were whispy tendrils of nebulosity. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I accidentally located Abell 45. It took me back to the first time I saw a waterfall. Then, I sought B 350 in Triangulum. It seemed fainter than the eye of God. With that checked off my list, I found by accident Abell 74 in Ursa Minor. It looked uncannily like Santa Claus. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I tried for NGC 2135 in Canis Major. It appeared at low power like a spitting cobra. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I stumbled upon M 44. It took me back to the first time I saw diamonds on light grey velvet.

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 stale peeps.


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

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