My observing report

As I drove up the winding road to my secret observing location, I idly mused upon the current implications of economic theory 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 56 telescopes set up.

I started my night's observing with one of my favorite objects, M 50. It looked uncannily like all the other smudges I've ever looked at. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I jumped to Abell 12 in Canis Major. It seemed most like a whale spouting. Then, for a real challenge, I star-hopped to IC 2577. It reminded me of the eternal nothingness of being. With that checked off my list, I star-hopped to NGC 2854 in Ursa Minor. It shimmered, as if it were black pearls on flocked paper. Then, for a real challenge, I looked at Abell 8 in that confusing part of Virgo. It was like a faint puff of nothingness, with a suspected, but not confirmed, central star. With that checked off my list, I helped a beginner find IC 3190. It appeared in the eyepiece like a far-away cloud. With that checked off my list, I found M 70 in that confusing part of Virgo. It looked a bit like dancing elephants. Next, I accidentally located M 100 in Lynx. It was even more difficult than black pearls on flocked paper. Then, I sketched Abell 97. It seemed most like Dubya. After that, I looked at B 275. It reminded me of a far-away cloud. After that, I tracked down B 509 in Lynx. It looked a bit like desert sand. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I located M 25. It appeared at low power like a little triangle. Next, I tracked down B 170 in Lyra. It appeared to be an inflamed monkey butt. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I tried for Abell 47. It appeared to be Santa Claus.

After a short break to drink a slurpie, I showed some guests B 608. It somewhat resembled dancing elephants. Then, for a real challenge, I sought Abell 42. It looked a bit like smoke signals from a rampaging Iroquois band. Next, I star-hopped to IC 2747 in Camelopardalis. It seemed most like diamonds on black velvet. Next, I studied IC 1123. It looked a bit like diamonds on light grey velvet. Next, I identified Abell 73 in Hydra. It looked like the pillars of creation. Then, I sought NGC 842. It compared favorably with cotton on velvet. With that checked off my list, I went for NGC 67. It shimmered, as if it were cotton candy.

After a short break to converse with an owl, I glimpsed B 542. It seemed just like Alan Rickman.

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 sex.


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

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