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Status Updates posted by Hawksmoor

  1. Nice night until the fog rolled up. Mars below the Pleiades very photogenic, so took a few snaps with a tripod mounted DSLR. 1sec exposures at ISO6400 and f=55mm. Lovely full Moon over my hedge.The night sky from a semi rural location is a very beautiful thing!

    Night night Stargazers.

    1. orion25


      Did you post your snaps???



    2. Hawksmoor


      Hi Reggie

      Nice to hear from you. I haven't posted an image of the meeting of Mars and the Seven Sisters yet as have been a bit busy with non astro related stuff. Hopefully I will manage to process something soon from the data I captured . The moonlight unfortunately washed out a lot of detail. Visually it was a beautiful thing but I suspect my photo will not have captured the crispness and sparkle of the 'eyeball'event. I believe I often over process insufficient amounts of widefield data and consequently end up with rather flat dull images. Anyway I will give it a go and post the result. All the best, hope you are keeping well and benefiting from clear skies.



    3. orion25


      Here are some one-off shots I took of Mars and the Seven Sisters tonight with my DSLR. We're having a string of beautiful nights. I'm taking full advantage!




      Reggie :) 

  2. Frustrating day with a 3d printer. PLA insists upon getting stuck in the extruder nozzle but wont stick to the plate. Thankfully, I have nothing better to do but I'm convinced  that I could have whittled the gismo I'm trying to print, from a solid block of ebony using a blunt spoon, in half the time I've spent to date. I am just too old and obdurate to give up!  On a positive note Mrs. H made a tasty fish soup for tea!

  3. Lovely afternoon so went for a walk. Saw a green woodpecker and the sun felt warm on my old back. Lowestoft will get snow on Sunday according to Metcheck.

    Mrs Hawksmoor and I are booked in to get our first Covid Vaccine injections on Sunday  - so  we are hoping the snow does not intervene.

  4. Benefited from a small window of clear sky on a freezing foggy night. Tried to find the comet near Capella with my big bins and took a few snaps with my dslr on the Star Adventurer. Not convinced I spotted it so must be very faint. Will look at the images tomorrow and see what shows up.

    Night all.

  5. The weather was not kind so imaging Quadrantids wasn't an option. I did however wander into 'Mission Control' (my shed) at lunchtime today and noticed that my 'software defined radio' (The LVST) was pinging like mad as radar reflections from meteors over the South of France were being picked up by my Yagi aerial. I leave the LVST running 24 -7 - 365 days a year. I must download all the data from 2020 and get on with some data analysis.  Unfortunately, like Mr. Toad,  I am a backsliding animal!

    George 'data-rich' near Sole Bay.

  6. Just checked out NORAD tracks Santa. The 'man in red' is going well and the reindeer team look fresh and up to the job. Hope I'm on 'the nice list'!

  7. A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my friends on Stargazers Lounge from 'the old man next the sea' in Lowestoft.


    1. orion25


      Same to you, my friend!

  8. The closest conjunction has been and gone whilst the cloud, rain and wind held sway over Lowestoft. Perhaps tomorrow will be still, dry and clear.

    George slightly sad on the East Coast.

  9. Getting even closer but I wont be able to capture future images, weather permitting, from the back bedroom window!


  10. Lowestoft weather is putting on a fine display for the Geminids - cloud cover from horizon to horizon, persistent rain and gusting winds. Great!

    Grumpy old man in Lowestoft

  11. Getting closer but wish the weather would improve, especially as the Geminids are due!

    Jupiter Saturn Conjunction 08122020crop.png

  12. Had all sorts of grim weather here on the east coast. Whilst going upstairs on Sunday I caught a quick glimpse of Saturn and Jupiter starting to look quite close. I pressed the Poundland minitripod back into use and captured this technicolour blurry image with the planets in hazy cloud - with my Canon 600d at ISO6400 through the back bedroom window. The clouds made for a prettier picture?

    Looking forward to closer and clearer!


    Conjunction 06122020 01.png

  13. End of an era. Just decommissioned my two old DELL Windows 7 laptops - no longer wifi enabled to the internet. Will save me the annual Bullguard subscription which has just come up for renewal. Will  use them in the future for data storage,  'guiding' and other non internet jobs until their little processors fade quietly away! 

  14. Clear sky tonight. Managed to observe one  straggler Leonid but as usual my camera was pointing in the wrong direction. Managed to capture two long sequences of exposures. Canon 600d camera - on  Star Adventurer driven mount - lens at f=18mm and ISO 1600 -exp 45 secs. & 60 secs. Widefield images of Auriga and the Pleiades. Just completing calibration frames then off to bed. Lovely night with Orion looking splendid.

    Night night Stargazers.

  15. No Leonids for me tonight as the rain and cloud have persisted. Decided to call it a night at 1:00am and have gone to bed. Maybe I will catch a few stragglers tomorrow?

    Nighty night cloud dodgers.

  16. Nice weather all day here on the East Coast. Spent the day fabricating a mild steel door for my pizza oven. Since I increased the external insulation the fire protected timber door becomes carbonised  after two firings, so a double skinned aluminium silicate wool insulated steel door is the way forward. Makes you wonder whether Pompeii was brought down by a volcanic eruption or a faulty pizza oven design?

    As I had not seen a cloud all day, I decided to set up my big refractor to catch some more Mars videos. Soon as it was up and running the clouds appeared along with some straggler fireworks. Went in to eat dinner and when I came out it was clear! Managed to capture some clips of Mars and was pleased to note that Syrtis Major was prominent. The atmosphere was not that stable and the wind was also a nuisance as I do not have an enclosed observatory. Will have to wait and see how the videos process. All done and dusted by 10:30. Had a glass of brandy to warm up as it has turned cold.

    Nighty night Stargazers.


  17. If I were a sea-fairing man I would describe the current weather in our backyard as a persistent 'squall'.  I think I can safely 'stand down' the telescope for the foreseeable future.

    To cheer myself up I have been reorganising my tropical fish aquarium including a bit of re-wiring and have purchased on-line an Eheim Ecco Pro 130 external cannister filter.  My on going battle with ' algae' will hopefully turn a corner with better water treatment and the imminent arrival of four veg hungry Otocinclus Catfish.

    Best regards from George up to 'fishy-business' in Lowestoft.




  18. 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'.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  21. 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. 


  22. 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"

  23. 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.

  24. 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


  25.   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.

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