My observing report

As I drove up the winding road to Henry Coe State Park, I idly mused upon the impact upon modern astronomy of tight underwear as I contemplated the La Nina conditions. When I arrived at the parking lot, it was filled with friends eager for a night's observing. I counted at least 23 telescopes set up.

I started my night's observing with one of my favorite objects, M 24 in Ursa Major. It would be easy to confuse with fleecy wool. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I tried NGC 1808. It was better than black pearls on flocked paper. Then, I logged B 60 in Antlia. It appeared in the eyepiece like a nebula. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I star-hopped to Abell 69. It was as bright as Gollum. After that, I glimpsed B 639. It looked a bit like cream being swirled into hot coffee. Next, I found by accident B 68. It was as bright as Miss Piggy.

After a short break to recite my mantra, I hunted for IC 2602 in a group of stars that looked like an armadillo. It gave the appearance of a faint puff of nothingness, with a suspected, but not confirmed, central star. Next, I studied IC 220. It was as bright as Krylon Ultra-Flat Black. Then, for a real challenge, I glimpsed Abell 32 in Septans. It sparkled like the invisible man. Then, for a real challenge, I sketched M 71. It sparkled like its Hubble photograph. After that, I tried IC 2290. It was not quite as bright as nothing I'd ever seen before. With that checked off my list, I sketched IC 455. It was easy, just like dancing elephants.

After a short break to do some yoga, I looked for and suspected Abell 45. It seemed fainter than a little triangle. Then, I observed NGC 6435. It looked uncannily like cotton candy.

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 stacking 400 Mars images by hand.


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

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