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Everything posted by Hawksmoor

  1. I have ongoing back problems and underwent spinal surgery some six years ago. Have managed the last 12 months without pain killers and feel better for it. I now do light daily exercises which help with movement and I zone out pain for most of the time with a bit of meditation and intellectual distraction. Astronomy wise, the building of a permanent pier was a smart move, polar alignment was very 'bending' intensive and difficult for the dyspraxic . Now, my NEQ6 sits polar aligned and out all year under a Telegizmo 365 cover but I do keep my refractor a short distance away and in the house. As my back deteriorates, as I'm told it will, I shall undoubtedly make the decision to leave the telescope outside under the cover. Unfortunately, I have insufficient space in my garden for an enclosed observatory. My 'astronomy endgame' will no doubt involve binoculars, my small 66mm refractor and the star adventurer that I currently use when out and about. The advantage/disadvantage of being obsessive is that you plan your own future downfall in meticulous detail. The one issue I find difficult to control is dizziness. It is quite alarming in the pitch dark, when I'm holding a piece of expensive glass or equipment and suddenly my internal universe spins. I now try always to set up in daylight and arrange garden furniture to provide surfaces for temporary storage, laptops and a safe support for the temporarily giddy. A nest of small robust coffee tables, if you can get away with 'borrowing' them from the sitting room, can be very useful as long as you remember where you placed them and don't end up tripping over them in the dark. A comfortable garden/observing chair (with a back support) and your telescope mounted at a convenient height is a must ( I mounted my NEQ6 quite a bit higher than is usual and find this limits the amount of bending I have to do). One of the issues we all have to contend with is the exceptionally inclement UK weather, so when consecutive 'clear nights' turn up we all go a bit 'astro' bonkers and this can often be followed by laptop imaging software syndrome. The net result may be severe back stress even for those without spinal issues. I try to exercise some astro-imaging restraint and no longer feel as though I've let myself down if I don't take advantage of every 'transparent'opportunity. Anyway don't give up star gazing as there is often another method you can adopt to achieve virtually the same result. Hope helpful - best regards George in Lowestoft
  2. Just found out that this little asteroid has two moons orbiting it. How fantastic!
  3. Hawksmoor


    A Globular Star Cluster further out than the Magellanic Clouds. Gaia estimate - at least 65,000 light years. Fancied having ago at this for some time. Thought the Robotic Telescope on Mount Teide gave me the best chance of resolving dimmer stars. Credit: COAST robotic telescope - telescope.org - Open University. BVR filter set - one 3 minute exposure taken on 28th February 2019
  4. Hawksmoor

    Other Peoples Photons

    Images created from data archive downloads from the Internet
  5. After an extended period of being 'uncle dick', during which I totally forgot that I had registered my interest in taking part , I finally got around to starting the OU-Moons free distance learning package that had been lurking in my Yahoo inbox.  Had an enjoyable day catching up the first week of studies. Week two - tomorrow, if all goes to plan.  Here in Lowestoft it looks set cloudy for awhile.🙄

    1. orion25


      Have fun until the sky clears, George :) 



  6. Hi Achim I really like this sketch, great textures. Thank you for posting this interesting drawing. regards George
  7. Hawksmoor


    Open cluster in Canis Major March 2018. PIRATE Robotic Telescope. Credit: telescope.org Open University.
  8. Hawksmoor


    Combination of two images taken January 2018, with the PIRATE and COAST Robotic Telescopes, BVR filters, on Mount Teide Credit: telescope.org Open University.
  9. What a great image! - Short of going there I cannot imagine a better view of Sinus Iridum. Last week, I watched through my 11x80 binoculars as sunlight touched the peaks of the Jura Mountains whilst the lava below remained in jet black shadow. A spectacular place indeed and when illuminated as in your image it shows a wealth of geological detail. Thank you for posting this fabulous image. regards George
  10. I am the least favoured only child in my family so have sadly no siblings to set me a good example. I am encouraged by my nine grandchildren to remain outstandingly immature. To date I'm not aware of disappointing them in any significant way. Trust in the force DP.
  11. Thank you for your very kind comments regarding the photo and set up. No I'm not American, born at Maidstone in Kent but after 1968 I lived and worked in other parts of the UK including Manchester where 'backyards' were common currency. Our backyard is a bit small to warrant the title 'back garden' and is mostly paved so yard seemed appropriate. Best regards George
  12. Sixty-nine years old and still not sure what I want to be when I grow up!
  13. "It's four in the morning and once more the dawning Just woke up the wanting in me" Leonard Cohen Says it all really.
  14. Earlier this evening I watched a large moon rise over the end of our street. Just a bit of cloud about to add some perspective and reflect some of the deep warm yellow moonlight. A real pretty thing to see.

    More cloud now so off to bed after a day spent on new woodcut print.

    Nighty night stargazers.

  15. Hawksmoor


    What a great image! Nice and crisp detail
  16. After a grey and cloudy day the sky cleared for a quick look at the Moon. The crater Aristarchus was well clear of the terminator and shining brilliant white against the darker mare lava.

    Nighty night stargazers

    George the old man by the sea.

  17. A pretty thing:

    Turned my bins towards the terminator on the waxing gibbous Moon tonight and watched sunlight kiss the peaks of the Jura Mountains behind the Bay of Rainbows still cloaked in the darkness of lunar night. 

    Craters Tycho and Copernicus were very bright and clearly defined. The rays of projects from Tycho were very obvious. The dark lava of Plato stood out as a tiny oval against the lighter uplands.

    Nighty night stargazers.

    George in bed in Lowestoft

    1. orion25


      Nice report, George. Did you see the close encounter of the first quarter moon and Aldebaran on Wednesday night? I always look out for those occultations; I've imaged a few. Right now, I'm dealing with cloud, for about a week according to the forecast, UGGGGH!😒

    2. Hawksmoor


      Hi Reggie

      Unfortunately, I missed close encounters of the Aldebaran kind. Sad to hear you have had an extended period of cloud. Hope things improve soon, forecasts aren't always right!

      Weather in Lowestoft still good but Moon so bright everything else very washed out. Spent 30 minutes looking at the Moon through my big bins. Tonight Gassendi was on display. Very interesting effect - the rims of the craters from Gassendi to the terminator and south  along the terminator were illuminated and looked like two bright straight lines at right angles.

      The other very visible feature on display was the elongated crater Schiller looking like a dark scar in the brilliant white southern moonscape.

      I love looking at the Moon through bins over a run of consecutive nights.  (Weather permitting)!

      The changes occasioned by variation in the angle of incident sunlight are quite fascinating.

      I quite like the low magnification of bins (11x), as you can see the whole Moon on display at a glance but have to really focus and concentrate to pick out the detail.

      Now off to bed

      Best regards George

  18. Went for a walk in Norfolk today and came face to face with a hare. Completely mad of course and it isn't even March!

    Night all.

    George in Lowestoft

  19. Glad I popped outside before I went to bed tonight! Really clear sky at the moment in Lowestoft.  Tonight, even before the street lights went out, I could see M44 with the naked eye as quite a bright cloud. Got a real grip on its apparent size with regard to the constellation Cancer, as much easier to do with unaided eye sight. When I looked at it through my 11x80 bins a real treat -lots of stars on view. Bonus - M67 a very easy spot  with handheld bins tonight - not always the case from my backyard.

    Looking west was fantastic. Orion, Gemini, Taurus, Auriga and Perseus all visible in one view without having to move my head absolutely fabulous. One off treats that stood out - Sirius, Orion's Sword, Betelgeuse, Aldeberan, the Pleiades and Capella. Through my bins the open clusters in Gemini and Auriga were top notch and the view of the Orion GMC was stunning.

    Looking south, Leo on display always nice to see - spring on its way. The Bear remains on its tail and Arcturus was shining yellow as it rose above my tall hedge to the east.

    My wife came out to have a look and spotted a meteor.

    Nighty night stargazers wherever you are.

    George in Lowestoft about to turn out the light.

    1. Show previous comments  6 more
    2. orion25


      Very nice. Thanks for pulling up the images, George. I find that I like the Hind's Crimson Star a bit better because it is more challenging to see and glows a deeper red. I was stoked to get an image of it!


      Reggie :) 

    3. Hawksmoor


      In your image Hind's star 'glows like an ember' Great image!

    4. orion25


      Thanks, George. I shot it at prime focus with my 127mm Mak and tweaked the exposure to bring out the color and not wash it out by too much luminance.

  20. "You spend hours fiddlin' about with photos and 'cheating" "I enjoy astro-banter with my partner who often spends a freezing hour or two in the dark with me only to accuse me of 'cheating' when she sees the resulting images. I freely admit to: upping colour saturation, removing stars or at least making them smaller, stretching nebulosity not in a good way and removing dust motes and crud etc. etc. I sometimes like to try and capture what I perceived it looked like on the night in the dark but often I enjoy trying to get it to look like images in coffee table astro-books and magazines. I am very interested in science but there was a reason why I opted for an Arts Degree - I do like a bright picture in 'technicolor', I'm not good with rules and routines and although I admire the amazing images posted on this forum by dedicated and skilled imagers, I rejoice in my lack of scientific rigour and application"! - Mr Toad of Toad Hall.
  21. Hawksmoor

    Northern Trifid

    Keep coming back to look at this. Such a beautiful image. regards from George.
  22. It was very pretty to see. Thank you for taking the time to comment.
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