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Status Updates posted by Hawksmoor

  1. Orion splendid over our backyard!

  2. 70 years old today and I remain unsure as to what I want to be when I grow up.

    1. 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


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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. '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

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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


  10. 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.

  11. 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


      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.

  12. 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?

  13. 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?

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    Night all.

  18. 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

  19. Have now published my speculations regarding the 2016 Perseid Shower after 'graphing the life out' of my sdr radio meteor reflection data. This is what happens when you let an old artist loose in a shed with wires and concepts he barely understands.

    Probably a lot of 'balderdash' but I enjoyed playing with the data whilst it was raining outside. If you are interested please follow the link to my LVST (Lowestoft Very Small Telescope) site .

    LVST Perseids 04 Aug to 16 Aug  2016

    Please excuse my references to Jodrell Plank Observatory staff - I get a bit silly when I'm bored and make things up!  Comet the Observatory Cat exists but she or he does not belong to us or to Mr Schrodinger, who does not actually live next door.😉

    Unless God or the police move me on, I hope to do similar stuff on a comparative basis with 2017, 2018 and 2019 data (and  also for different meteor showers). ~On the other hand I might just get out more!

    I attach my favourite data plot for those that like graphs!

    U+TMaxpower-radialV lim=lesspxd1000anno.png

  20. Just about finished analysing my first batch of data from The LVST  sdr meteor catcher. Have been looking in detail at the Perseid Shower 2016. Now I know this is not cutting edge and that 3 years is a bit of a delay between receipt of signals and doing something with the data but I am a bit old and defocussed since giving up regular employment. Anyway I'm quite pleased with myself even if I've got the math wrong and jumped to the wrong conclusions in interpreting the data.  I will be publishing my findings on my LVST (Lowestoft Very Small Telscope) Google Site tomorrow. (subject to distractions too numerous to mention)

    George drowning in numbers in Lowestoft.

  21. Nice night with a few wisps of cloud. Full moon with Jupiter in close proximity - quite beautiful.

    Just admired the view for 30 minutes before reaching for a camera. 

    Then as I tried to accommodate the huge dynamic range of luminance between the two objects, I wondered at the complexity of the human eye and brain combination that can accomplish the feat with consumate ease.  Improvement by Darwinian selection may be wasteful,  brutal and incredibly slow but it sure delivers on performance.

    I will post an image tomorrow.

    Nighty night stargazers

  22. Well knock me over with a tripod I can actually see the Moon and Jupiter through and between the clouds. A few stars as well! Took some widefield DSLR snaps as it looked quite pretty. Jupiter is too low for me this year. Too many roofs on the way!

    Discovered my Funcube Dongle on the LVST had thrown a wobbly so had to reboot. Now working ok but sadly have lost a lot of data since the beginning of the year. On a more positive note I have been trying to develop a methodology for analysing data using Excel and INZite software (a relatively painless interface with R). Have been using Perseid data from 2016. Will stick a few graphs on once I've finished playing with the data. So don't laugh at an old bloke trying to do science-lite.

    George by moonlight in Lowestoft

  23. First full on summer's day here in Lowestoft. We went for a walk across the marsh. Lots of butterflies - Orange tip, peacock and one variety we didn't recognise. Walked through a full on swarm of bees. Heard them first and then suddenly they were all around us. Saw a snipe, a marsh harrier, swifts, marsh tits and a white egret. Surprised a roe deer by the railway track or did it surprise us? Great day in warm sunshine.

    Nighty night stargazers

    George tired but not stung in Lowestoft.

  24. Clear sky over Lowestoft tonight. Hercules almost directly overhead and Vega higher in the east. Nice crescent moon setting in the North-West. 

    Night all.

  25. Excellent data outcome. Having grasped the basics of INZight data analysis software, thanks to OU free course and Department of Statistics Auckland University, I managed to load Spectrum Lab event logs for August 2016 and started compiling relationship graphs relating to various aspects of radar reflections from Perseid meteors. Next step : to filter out data outliers, but I probably need to finish the course first and attain the required skill set!  At least I can do something with the data stream generated by the LVST (The Lowestoft Very Small Telescope).

    Now retiring to the slumber pit. Last night I fell out of bed only to be  rudely awakened at 3am as I collided with the Cyril Lord. 

    Nighty night stargazers from George in Lowestoft.

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