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Hawksmoor

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Status Updates posted by Hawksmoor

  1. Wind and rain! Rain and wind!

    So rather than "pining for the fjords", I thought to try a bit of astro 'DIY' light. Managed to fit an old Orion EZ red dot finder onto my Altair astro 66mm Lightwave refractor. 

    Also decided to reuse my redundant QHY5v planetary camera for obtaining low res spectra. Managed to complete a few basic calculations and mount a transmission grating at an appropriate distance from the imaging chip. Then set about getting my laptop to communicate with the old camera. Went to QHY site and downloaded the most recent driver for the QHY5v.

    Downloaded a more recent version of Sharpcap which seems to work with the QHY5v using ASCOM. Need to work on settings as first captures were hyper noisy. Not really sure what I am doing but I've never let this stop me in the past. "Ever backwards and downwards"!

    George now tucked up and pleasantly cosy in my sleeping chariot.

  2. Just watched the first episode of StarTrek Picard. Nice!

    Not only do we share the same values but he has proved conclusively that I'm not too old to go into space. "Boldly going-----" and all that malarkey. Good on you Jean Luc!

    1. orion25

      orion25

      You're never too old to go into space. After all, that's where we came from!

      Greetings,

      Reggie ;) 

  3. Good heavens! another night that appears to be clear. Hope it stays that way, Already out playing with my mate Orion.

    George outside in the dark wearing a woolly hat In Lowestoft

    1. orion25

      orion25

      Enjoy it for all its worth, George! :D 

      Don't forget to to see Venus and Neptune less than a degree apart on Sunday and especially Monday evening.

       

      Regards,

      Reggie

    2. Hawksmoor

      Hawksmoor

      Hi Reggie. Nice to hear from you. I have been taking full advantage of the unusually clear skies over Lowestoft this weekend. Venus has been a spectacular beacon in the early evening and Orion strides over my south facing backyard for most of the night until I lose it behind a roof at about 2:00am. Have been working on a couple of widefield images of Orion for a day or so which I hope to post soon.

      Had a great day out with friends today in rural Norfolk. Had an excellent lunch at a posh pub. Most unusually it had original art works by Tracey Emin, Damion Hearst and Lucien Freud on the walls. They also had a herd of about fifty red deer with very large antlers in the adjoining grounds. Didn't get home until about 21:00 so even though the stars were shining brightly over our house l decided to give stargazing a miss for one night.

      Hope you are well and enjoying the skies over Georgia.

      Best regards George

  4. Last night I managed to keep going until about 1:30am when the threatened clouds turned up along with a sudden squall of icy precipitation. Just finished sorting out my flats before I was forced to dash carrying my mobile rig into the kitchen to escape the sleet.Opp

    Been busy today so not much time available for data processing but the 3 hours of data captured seems to have yielded two hours of lights worth stacking. My widefield 'Orion Dagger' project appears to be going well!

    Using a x0.6 focal reducer and field flattener on my Altair Astro 66mm. Doublet refractor enables the Flame, Horeshead, Running Man and OMC nebulae to fit on the chip of my Canon 600d DSLR.

    Quite excited and looking forward to the  next stage.

    Weather tonight very poor with no stars visible.

  5. After sorting out my shed I decided to treat myself to a bit of 'mini rig astro imaging' of Orion before the clear sky 'clouds up'.  Trouble is before the street lights go out at 11:30pm light pollution in Lowestoft is a big problem. No prizes for guessing what time the cloud is predicted to roll in overhead?

  6. Went out for a meal at 'the Crown' In Southwold - Very clear night and even with street lighting on could clearly see the winter Milky Way stretching from horizon to horizon. The stars between Auriga, Taurus and Orion were spectacular! According to Metcheck,  Lowestoft weather is set fair for 'Sunday Night and Monday Morning' so may try some widefield  imaging in this area.

    Night all.

  7. A very Merry and Starry Christmas to you all!

    Best regards from George and Anita in Lowestoft next the Sea.

    Xmas2019 019small.png

    1. orion25

      orion25

      Same to you, George!

  8. Orion splendid over our backyard!

  9. 70 years old today and I remain unsure as to what I want to be when I grow up.

    1. orion25

      orion25

      Congratulations on the big 7-0! A piece of advice - NEVER GROW UP

    2. Rob Sellent

      Rob Sellent

      Happy Birthday and I hope you had a good one :smiley:

      Like the question 'what do you do?' the other 'what do you want to be?' has always bemused me. They're lifeless questions rooting for lifeless answers.

    3. markse68

      markse68

      Happy Birthday! What’s this growing up thing about then 🤔😂

  10. Funny sort of night here on the east coast. Too much moonlight, too much cloud, fireworks and then rain. In between I captured a few widefield snaps of ngc7000. Unfortunately my dslr, intervalometer and staradventurer mount were rained upon when a sudden 'squall' took me by surprise and terminated my imaging session. Have dried everything and all appears well with my kit. An Intervaluometer can get the unwary astronomer into 'cold' water!

    Night night stargazers hope your evening went better.

  11. Tonight the sky is clear and velvet black here on the East Coast. Haven't set up the gear tonight as I have a long car journey tomorrow and I need some sleep. 

    Just went outside and looked up. Pegasus and M31 visible to the naked eye and almost straight overhead. The Milky Way stretched clear across the sky and disappeared with Cygnus to the west. 

    As I turned to look towards the Pleiades, a really bright and red coloured Orionid meteor flamed across the sky below the square of Pegasus. What a beautiful and wonderful thing to witness on a cool autumnal night!

    Nighty night stargazers

  12. Today, I completed my last 'dew zapper' and fitted it to my 127mm. Meade 500. I'm awaiting some bell wire and a 1 amp-9 volt transformer from the 'bay'. When all connected up I shall be ready for 'astro fun and games' throughout a cold and moist winter on the East Coast. 

    I currently have a few stars outside but Metcheck doesn't look encouraging. Think I will stick with binoculars tonight.

    Night all

     

    127mm Dew Zapper.png

  13. 'rah'! -  finally, I was able to spot Comet W2 AFRICANO sailing through Andromeda. Managed to get a few widefield images of it but sadly through high level cloud and brightening moonlight that rather spoilt an otherwise good night with my little 66mm Altair Astro Lightwave scope.  Will have a go tomorrow at processing what I gathered tonight. Weather forecast for Lowestoft over the next couple of days is quite poor so I need to make the best of my blurry images as I'm unlikely to capture anymore anytime soon.

    Nighty-night Stargazers

  14. Today, the electrical resistors, essential components for constructing 'dew zappers', arrived by post from China. Excellent, now where did I put my soldering iron?

  15. Spent all day in the loft installing a bathroom extraction fan plus ducting. Now I know how Quasimodo felt. Nice gibbous Moon waxing quietly outside but I'm in bed.

    Night night Stargazers.

  16. Another lovely autumnal night here on the east coast. Took a few snaps of the constellations Cassiopeia and Perseus with a tripod mounted DSLR. Quick spin around the sky with my binoculars and so to bed.

    Reckon I could see Comet W2 ARICANO with my big bins close to Gamma Persei but could be my old chum ' wishful thinking' kicking in.

    Night all

     

  17. Stood in my backyard in Lowestoft and showed the Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy to my granddaughter Maisy. Then did a trip around the night sky pointing out the constellations and asterisms. She was really pleased and interested. Living on a main road near the seafront in Southend with so much light pollution has meant that much of the night sky has been lost to her. Realised how lucky I was to live in relatively dark Suffolk.

  18. Beautiful night sky over Lowestoft tonight. Spent 45 minutes with my big bins in the backyard looking for comet 2018 W2 (AFRICANO) in and around Camelopardalis. Think I spotted it with averted vision above and to the right of Kemble's Cascade (towards the Double Cluster). If so very faint but quite large (in my 11x80 bins bigger than M13). Does this sound about right or is this the wishful thinking  of a stargazer who has been too long without a comet to observe?

    George now in bed in Lowestoft.

    1. Hawksmoor

      Hawksmoor

      Last night was another clear night, so I  spent it trying to image said comet using my Altair 66mm scope with x0.6 focal reducer. All with no success and much dewing up of lenses. All got a bit silly in the end when I decided to use my partner's microwaveable'Fox' bed warmer to keep the dew at bay. A stuffed Fox fixed with a rubber band to your refractor tube does not give your rig a 'high-Tec' look! Jolly good job I don't take myself too seriously!

      Night night stargazers.

  19. Heavy dew, that's what could and did go wrong!

    I need to build a couple of 'dew zappers' for my 18-55mm EFS camera lenses. Where did I put that bag of resistors?

  20. Th rain has stopped, the gale force winds have abated and the Moon has dropped below my neighbour's roof, so I have put out my meteor rig to see if I can catch some. What can possibly go wrong?

  21. Even though the sky is full of clouds, I'm In an excellent mood:

    • The second hand 18-55mm efs  camera lens which I ordered  on-line has been delivered and works fine (completing my home made dual camera meteor imaging rig set up).  Tremendous value at less than -£40 including delivery.
    • I completed the conversion of my garden barbecue into a wood fired bread oven, and it works. Tasty bread with a proper crust.
    • Today, my garden was full of butterflies and they were beautiful.

    Now I'm off to sleep, night all.

  22. Watched the ISS go over my backyard tonight. It almost occulted Vega. Never tire of watching it free falling it's way silently across my patch of sky.

    Night night stargazers.

  23. Lovely hot day here in Lowestoft. Sea like a mill pond. Spent an hour swimming and the caught some rays and doughnuts on the beach!  Clear night, so tried out my home made meteor catcher rig. Seemed to work ok and managed to capture a couple of meteors (sporadic or Capricornids) -- not sure which.

    So many bright satellites in the sky nowadays it's hard to take a widefield photograph without acquiring an image of one. Was using two cameras and two intervaluometers so not outside when the ISS went over but got several images with a very thick bright white line. Guess that was it!

    Now happily in my sleeping chariot awaiting the onset of Zeds.

    Night all.

  24. Just poked my head outside and its raining. Looks like February which this year looked strangely like July. Weird!

    Night all.

  25. First nice night in quite a while. Spent some time in my backyard with bins. Nice to see the Summer Triangle. Saturn and Jupiter so low and just visible over neighbour's roof. Noticed a very bright satellite travelling more or less north to south and a little to the east of directly overhead. Not noticed that one before. The sky is becoming very busy.

    Nighty night all

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