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About Hawksmoor

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    Proto Star
  • Birthday 28/11/49

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  • Interests
    Travel, art, astronomy, photography, music, the theatre, chess and mathematics.
  • Location
    East Anglia UK

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  1. Foggy night in Lowestoft, so no astronomy from our backyard ! Sad!

    Sweet dreams stargazers.

  2. From the album Comets, Meteors and Asteroids

    Lovely transparent sky over the backyard on the 25th of March 2017. Finally managed to track down 41P/Tuttle–Giacobini–Kresák in the Great Bear . Taken with the 66mm. Altair Astro Doublet with 0.8x focal reducer and field flattener, Canon 600d DSLR all on a Star Adventurer equatorial mount. 22x30 second lights at ISO1600 with darks and flats stacked and processed using DeepSky Stacker.
  3. Beautiful night for astronomy in Lowestoft tonight. Used my Altair Astro 66mm. Doublet refractor on  my Star Adventurer mount to take widefield images of Comet 41P Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak in Ursa Major.  Try as I might I wasn't convinced that I could see it through my 11x80mm binoculars but my Canon 600d DSLR captured it easily at ISO 1600 and 30sec exposure. Rather a nice little green comet! :icon_biggrin: Grandchildren coming tomorrow for the weekend, two very nice little girls :hello2: :happy7: , so image processing will take a very poor second place until at least Monday.

    Night night stargazers where ever you are.




  4. Second concrete pour on 'George's Column' completed today.  Now the wait whilst the concrete cures and before I can remove the shuttering.  Two of my younger grandchildren are visiting at the weekend so I will  leave the  shuttering in place  until Monday.

    Night all

  5. Lowestoft Pier Construction (aka George's Column): First concrete pour accomplished and all covered up prior to the arrival of rain. Hopefully,tomorrow will be fine and I will be able to complete the concrete work with the second pour. Gave the steel levelling plate a coat of Hammerite - literally watching paint dry. Too jiggered to do more work on Spectrometer 3 Project - having a sit down before dinner.

    George 'tired but happy' in an overcast and rainy Lowestoft

    1. JimT


      Well done George, good to hear you are getting somewhere.  Have restarted my observatory rebuild in what I can only say is a wreck of a garden, clearing it all up and laying the floor of the observatory a bit at a time.











    2. Hawksmoor


      Best of luck with your observatory floor.  Hope the weather stays fine for your construction works.  I was lucky with the weather today and managed to complete the concreting by about 5.00pm.  Its staying light to quite late now, spring has arrived.  Jupiter is looking good if a bit low in the sky.


  6. Had a good day building my telescope pier. Welded up the mild steel reinforcement and chem-fixed to concrete sub-base. Also chem-fixed shear studs into existing concrete. Finished fabricating timber formwork. Weather and wife permitting should be able to complete first concrete pour tomorrow.

    Night all


  7. Aurora over Lerwick spectacular tonight. Have been watching it via webcams1 and 3 at 

  8. Nice transparent night in Lowestoft. Spent a happy hour in our backyard with my big bins. Jupiter a big disc and at least one moon visible. Hercules rising in the east so had a look at the two globular star clusters. The Beehive cluster a very pretty sight through bins. Could also see the more distant and older cluster in Cancer. Ursa Major overhead so had a wander through the constellation. Leo and Virgo due South picked out the chain of galaxies. Gemini and Auriga low in the west but still able to pick out four Messier open star clusters. What a lovely night!

    Nighty night Stargazers


  9. Better day working in the backyard on the pier. Managed to wire together the reinforcement for the free standing column.  It then started to rain with some force,  so decided to give up on the arc welding. Electricity and water not the best of bed-fellows. :icon_biggrin:

    Continued work on the pier formwork and started Spectrometer 3 project. I love 'bumbling' about in that shed!!

    Now sitting down with a beer. :happy11:


    Lowestoft Pier 010.png

  10. Lowestoft Pier build took a set back today. The electric concrete mixer that had rested quietly for 6 years under a tarpaulin on our backyard did not go when I plugged it into the National Grid.  Shocker :happy8: . Had to take it apart. :happy6: The electric motor had seized solid. Had to drill the main shaft to obtain sufficient purchase to free it with loads of WD40 and brute force. Finally got it reassembled and working at about 4.30 pm.:icon_biggrin:

    Onwards and upwards

    1. JimT


      Silly boy George, you had me thinking a ship had hit the town pier or it had fallen into the sea :D


  11. We have just had our Council replace the sodium street lamp with a very bright white LED. We are lucky for several reasons: the lamp post is at the front of our property and my astronomical pursuits are undertaken on the otherside of our house, to save energy the Council turns it off at midnight, the lamp post is not tall and the shading is adequate to prevent too much light spillage. The lamp post is however, very close to our bedroom window and the utilisation of other than black out curtains does not prevent light incursion and issues for my partner who is a poor sleeper at best. My son who lives close to a road junction in Southend is not as lucky. His night has been turned into day by the recent installation of LEDS on mast like lamp posts which floodlight his house all night long. The article was interesting and contained a number of issues worth discussion. I would like to destroy one myth that surfaces in this article. High levels of illumination do not remove the shadows in which miscreants are believed to reside. In fact high levels of illumination create greater levels of contrast maximising the creation of localised areas of shadow and opportunites for crime. As an architect I sat on a number of community and police groups in which this was the accepted wisdom underpinned by independant research. I am more than prepared to accept that LEDS are more efficient and effective than low or high pressure sodium lamps but simply changing the bulbs without reconsideration of the location, height and design of the lamp housing and post will not in itself provide better lighting or a safer environment. If we are really concerned about our planet having some regard for when we need to turn the lamps on and off rather than how cheap they are to leave running might be a good plan. Light willing I'm now off to bed. George
  12. Thanks for sharing. I have submitted a completed survey. Bright green lights in the sky. Reminds me of the beginning couple of chapters in 'The Day of the Triffids'. We best go out and weed the allotment.
  13. From the album The Moon

    Using my QHY5-11 colour planetary camera and my old 90mm ETX mounted on a StarAdventurer mount. 1000 frames reduced using PIPP and Registax6. Two still images stitched together using ICE. Colour enhanced to highlight surface albedo and indirectly changes in surface minerology. Mare Crisium, Mare Tranquilitatis and Mare Fecunditatis on display. The libration on 08-03-2017 favoured Mare Smythii, Mare Undarum and Mare Marginis which are clearly visible towards the lunar limb. The craters Stevinus A and Furnerius A together with their ejecta ray systems are prominent.
  14. I have done this at least twice. It combines pain with extreme embarrassment and more noise than is acceptable at 3.00am.
  15. According to th BBC weather site, the weather last night in Lowestoft should have been good to midnight. It started well so out came my mini imaging rig and off I go with some video clips of the Moon. Waxing fibrous so I thought I would go for a mosaic composite using my 90mm ETX at about F13.8.  All was going well until the clouds rolled in. They began to clear and high level ice crystals took over. Nice 40 degree ring around the Moon but as for the video clips, there on in - blurry.  Astronomy must be one of the coldest and most frustrating of all hobbies. I'm just too obstinate to give up. :happy7:

    1. Hawksmoor


      I hate predictive text. The moon was waxing gibbous not fibrous. Must say though, a fibrous moon would be different! :happy8: