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Status Updates posted by Hawksmoor

  1. Great night in Lowestoft tonight. Managed to capture some more video clips of Mars. Unfortunately, very similar aspect to the captures I obtained in September. Also captured two videos of the crater Clavius and tried out Topaz DenoiseAI (now purchased) for the first time on a lunar image. Much impressed by how much this software improves high res views of the Moon.

    Now in bed and awaiting the arrival of the 'Sandman'.

  2. An unexpected clear night. Went outside and looked up. The Milkway is directly overhead running from Auriga in the east, through Cassiopeia and onto Cygnus in the west. Looking south Pegasus and Mars take pride of place. With the street lights off, M31 is visible to the naked eye. The Pleiades cluster is now quite high in the South-east and Betelgeuse is just visible over our hedge. Winter is on its way!

    Nighty night stargazers.

  3. Weather terrible but Metcheck advises me that there is an imaging window of opportunity in Lowestoft  between 22:00 and 2:00 tonight - so going to set up at 21:00 and hopefully capture some more Mars video clips.  I have become so stir crazy that I've started buying air plants. on-line and am making little  rock, driftwood and Tillandsia tableau. 🙃


    1. orion25


      Did someone say "imaging window", George? I hope you went for it! Look forward to seeing your clips ;)


      Reggie :)

    2. Hawksmoor


      Hi Reggie. I did go for it and the weather was compliant. The 'seeing' was not as good as on the 19th September. The image on my laptop was wobbling all over the place due to atmospheric turbulence. Managed to take a lot of video clips and am currently processing them. I have been trialling Topaz AI Denoise software and it really helps if applied to the stacked image before any other processing is used. I am likely to purchase this super smart software.

      Hope you are getting clear skies and managing to capture some great Mars images .

      Stay safe George

  4. Decided to try out Topaz Denoise AI - Quite impressed by use on a couple of planetary images. Will have a go with some widefield photos tomorrow. Think I may well be investing $99.99 of my 'paper-round' money in this software. If so there will be no more astro investments until 2021. 


  5. Still grim astronomy blight weather here on the East Coast but on the whole a productive day.  Made a metal sleeve from a bit of scrap stainless and fixed it over a crack in the ABS on Mrs Hawksmoor's Jenome sewing machine. Said crack was preventing the cotton from moving correctly and this in turn was causing stitches to be dropped and some stitches not to work at all!  Generally it is a well made machine but why use ABS in a location where a moving thread over time is likely to wear a groove and mess everything up?  It now works Igor! and I am in her good books.  The other 'result of the day' was addressing the stripped thread in my x2.5 Barlow. Overtime and due to my real fear that one or other camera was going to drop out and fall to its doom on the concrete paving, I had overtightened and stripped the thread in the soft aluminium. Yet again the £5.99 Tap and Dye set from Lidl's middle aisle has saved the day. I await the M4 al thumb bolt from my friend Mr Amazon Prime as I now have a new M4 threaded hole awaiting its company. Now this small engineering feat may not rate with all you proper engineers but for an ' itinerant artist and bodger' like me, this is a "small step for man but a giant leap for Hawksmoor"

  6. Nice aurora display over the Shetlands last night. Good views from the new webcam location at Eshaness Lighthouse as well as from old faithfull Cliffcam 3. All at www.Shetland webcams.

  7. Weather tomorrow night predicted fair, so might have a go at Mars and Uranus. Cloudy tonight here on the coast so off to bed.

    Night  Night stargazers


  8.   Beautiful Mars and waning gibbous Moon conjunction. Took a few images with my Canon DSLR at f=300mm. Interesting how the naked eye and brain can better accommodate the difference in brightness between the Moon and Mars than can the camera. To my eyes Mars shone like a pink jewel whilst the Mare on the Moon were in dark contrast to the southern highlands. My camera, set to show lunar detail, rendered Mars a very dull and tiny disc. Looks like a job tomorrow for 'photo editing software'!

    Now in bed in Lowestoft. Nighty night stargazers.

  9. Glad you got your Gazebo back after it 's maiden flight. I am happy to report that ours is still in place, but earlier today, it required some emergency running repairs with an adjustable spanner.

    Best regards from George in Lowestoft where it is still raining.

  10. I put up a small gazebo for a socially distanced meal with my daughter and grandchildren. Instantly, the rain became torrential and the wind speed increased to + 50 mph. Erecting a gazebo appears to have a more dramatic impact upon the weather than purchasing a new telescope! Who would have guessed?

    George holding on tight to a lifting gazebo in Lowestoft. A bit like the film 'Up' but damper.

  11. Lovely night here on the East Coast. Most unexpected as Metcheck was less than encouraging. Set up my pier mounted scope and managed to capture some video of Saturn and Jupiter. Been a long time since I've done any planetary imaging, so not expecting great results with both planets so low. Plenty of heat was coming off my neighbour's roofs and the planetary images were wobbling all over the place. Decided that I would have to get Mrs Hawksmoor to remove some more hedging if I'm going to be able to image Mars anytime soon. Poor long suffering woman, she deserves better!

    Nighty night stargazers wherever you are.

    George in bed in Lowestoft.


  12. Returned from an enjoyable holiday break in Northumberland. Got to use my newly acquired Nikon 8x40 Action EX cf bins on seals and stars. Well pleased with these bins for hand held observations by the older gentleman!

    Weather in Lowestoft however, remains poor and much as it was when I left. Will I ever get to image Saturn and Jupiter with my pier mounted scope or will the hedge grow back closing my window of opportunity ? A snap or two of Mars would be nice too!

    George in bed and under a cloud in Lowestoft.

  13. Cloud remains almost unbroken. Noticed number of reflections being detected by my sdr meteor set up has increased. Clearly the Delta Aquarids and Perseid showers are making there mark. Would be nice if the clouds departed by the night of Perseid maximum so I could capture a few visual images.

    Night all and hope the weather is more astro-friendly for you than here in Lowestoft.

  14. Wall to all cloud in Lowestoft tonight. Brought about by Mrs Hawksmoor who kindly trimmed back the honeysuckle on our southern fence in order that I might capture some video clips of Saturn and Jupiter with my pier mounted 5 inch refractor as the gas giants transit the small patch of sky between my two neighbours' roofs.  Sigh!

    Also acquired some Nikon 8x40 bins which probably put the tin lid on clear skies of any sort within the forseeable future. GRRRR! 

    "Does buying new kit make you feel happier" I'll let you know!

    George in murky Lowestoft.

  15. Quite a bit of cloud about tonight but I managed to see Comet NEOWISE under the Great Bear. Couldn't help but take a few 'snaps' through our bedroom window. I've had my money's worth out of my little Poundland tripod.

    It is a mind boggling thought that this comet last visited our planet in the Neolithic period and will not return for another 7000 years. There was a Neolithic presence on the coast at Pakefield which is only 2 miles from our home. I wonder what our distant ancestors made of it?

    Night all

  16. Lovely night again after quite a poor day here on the East Coast. Managed to get some views through my 11x80mm bins of the star clouds and Messiers in and around Sagittarius. Scraping the roofs to my south but remarkably clear and steady. Jupiter and Saturn still too low to be observed through my pier mounted refractor, but very bright to the naked eye. Saturn usually dim is surprisingly bright. I don't often get to see Sagittarius from our Backyard, so a bit of a treat. From our front door looking North Comet NEOWISE is easily visible with the naked eye even before the street lighting is extinguished. Very beautiful in the environs of the Great Bear. Not much photography tonight, just looking and enjoying the beauty of it all. Fabulous evening under the stars!

    Night all stargazers wherever you are.

  17. When you see wide field photos  in AN and S@N they usually have a wonderful foreground landscape.  A wild lake, a dark forest,  a deserted beach with abandoned lighthouse or an engineering masterpiece all adding grandeur to the night sky phenomenon pictured. So tonight I give you Comet 2020F3 NEOWISE over my neighbours' guttering - awesome !


    IMG_7089 copy.png

  18. Sky over Oulton Broad has just cleared. Little bit of high level scattered cloud remains and some haze towards the northern horizon mixed with light pollution from Great Yarmouth. Comet NEOWISE still visible to the naked eye but not so sharp as when last viewed on the 13th July. It has moved quite a distance west towards Ursa Major. The tail appears longer. A really nice thing to see when viewed through my 11x80 mm bins. Had a quick look at the Double Cluster always a treat. Jupiter and Saturn very bright to the South. Saw a nice white fast moving meteor, going south to north, before I called it a day and came to bed.

    Night all

  19. Quite pleased with these two blurry images. Jupiter and Saturn virtually perched on the ridge tiles of my neighbour's roof and imaged with my old ETX 90 Ra balanced (just) on a Star Adventurer mount.


  20. Back to cloud and rain again but I did get to see the comet in the early hours yesterday. Tired but happy in Lowestoft.

    Night all!

  21. Been cloud dodging in the backyard. Just captured some SER video clips of Saturn and Jupiter using my twenty year old Meade ETX 90 Ra on my Star Adventurer mount. Image scale a bit on the small side but nice to use my new QHY 5 -11 mono camera for the first time. However small the image, Saturn never fails to amaze me.  Considering both planets were skimming the ridge tiles of my neighbour's roof, the presence of intermittent cloud at various levels and the limited aperture of the scope, the old ETX punched well above its weight! By pushing up the gain, increasing the exposure time and over exposing Saturn, the ETX resolved at least 3 and possibly 4 of Saturn's moon's.

    Nighty night Stargazers.


  22. Weather on the East Coast has gone into a serious decline. Rain wind and more rain. Haven't been able to see Comet NEOWISE, the Moon or anything vaguely celestial for several days. In a rush of blood to the head and during a brief period of sunlight yesterday morning, I decided to affix my triangular Australian 'Sun break' to its wall mounted anchor rings. Spent the afternoon regularly emptying the pooling rainwater from its distended fabric embrace. Made the informed choice of taking it down before 'the wind got up' and we all went impromptu wind surfing. Today, the gale has abated but the rain remained tropical until about 23:00 when low and behold we have stars. Wandered the neighbourhood with my 'big bins' trying to find a location with a sufficiently low northern horizon, to enable a quick view of comet NEOWISE, but sadly without success. Eyed with suspicion by a number of late night revellers returning home. Probably a wise fashion choice, not to have worn the knitted black ski-mask!

    Saturn and Jupiter looking good but still too low to use my pier mounted refractor. Will try and get some video using my old 90mm ETX mounted on the 'star adventurer'. With my patio doors open I reckon I could capture some planetary pictures without having to leave the house. According to Metcheck, the next cloud free night will be on Wednesday. Will set up the rig tomorrow - just in case.

    Now in my Lowestoft slumber chariot awaiting Morpheus.

    Night night Stargazers


  23. Very windy here on the East Coast tonight. Lots of clouds scudding about. Jupiter and Saturn are accompanying the full Moon in its low course across my southern horizon. I have been hanging out of our back bedroom window taking a few pictures. I'm sure this sort of eccentric behaviour will result in my acquisition of a dubious neighbourhood reputation.🙃

    Nighty night stargazers

  24. Yet another beautiful day on the east coast. Went for a walk along the dunes at Winterton on Sea. Watched the little terns fishing and return to shore beaks crammed with silver fish. Was watched in turn by a suspicious seal.

    As the evening was clear I decided to photograph Jupiter and Saturn rising up over the sea from a vantage point on Corton Cliffs near Lowestoft. Got some nice widefield images with my Canon Dslr simply mounted on a standard tripod at f=18/mm. and ISO 1600 and 3200 - 10sec  exposures. Will try stacking them tomorrow to bring out fainter background stars and increase signal to noise. Got back home just after midnight. Waxing Moon setting in the west was very red nestling in the trees near the horizon.

    Night all - from George in bed in Lowestoft

  25. Beautiful night tonight. Been out in the garden with my bins. Summer Milky Way is now well above my hedge to the East. Summer Triangle nicely displayed. Hercules is directly above our backyard. There seems to be many more satellites in the sky. I thought I would test this by laying my DSLR on its back on the patio table and taking a series of 10x10 sec exposures at ISO3200 and f=18mm. I was amazed and rather dismayed by how many were picked up by my camera in such a short time. I also believe that I'm recording radar reflections from increased numbers of satellites with my sdr.

    George saying goodnight to all stargazers from Lowestoft

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