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Hawksmoor

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Status Updates posted by Hawksmoor

  1. Completed the free OU 'Moons' short course. Very much enjoyed it! Thanks to the SGL member who gave the 'heads up on this'. Have now embarked on a free Data Analysis course - Auckland University via OU. Thought this might help me make sense of the copious amounts of data being produced by the LVST meteor detection software defined radio.

    Another clear night here on the coast but windy and the Moon is becoming gibbous and quite bright.

    Night night stargazers.

    1. Lurcher

      Lurcher

      Thanks for posting this. I just happened to see it, and it raised my intrigue to have a look at the OU website.

      I've just signed up and downloaded the free course on the moon. The others look good too.

      (Looking forward to getting out and trying another sketch tonight now).

      Many thanks. 

    2. Hawksmoor

      Hawksmoor

      You're welcome.

    3. Fraunhoffer

      Fraunhoffer

      ooh thanks for this - looks good - as do the others (galaxies etc).

  2. Last night I put out the 127mm refractor to image M 87 at approx f=750 mm. Very cold, a tad windy , lots of low-level cloud and too much moonlight but otherwise just what the old amateur astronomer dreams of! At least I managed to get a snap. Used my homemade Batinov mask for the first time - worked effectively so well pleased. 

    George now in bed - Nighty night all.

  3. Nice night here in Lowestoft. Been out with my big bins. Regulus a very nice multiple star system worth a look through binoculars. Lots of galaxies in Leo, Virgo and Coma Berenices. All just visible with averted vision through my handheld bins as small interesting fuzzies. Nice to see Vega visible and rising in the east just above my neighbour's hedge. Summer is on the way troops!

    Night night stargazers everywhere.

    1. orion25

      orion25

      Nice report, George. Are you watching Jupiter, Saturn and Venus in the mornings? Such a peaceful time to observe :) 

    2. Hawksmoor

      Hawksmoor

      Hi Reggie

      Nice to hear from you. Haven't been up early enough to see Jupiter, Saturn and Venus. Have been doing a lot of DIY work around the house so a bit too tired to pull an all nighter. Must try and obtain an image of Jupiter and Saturn but not sure whether they will get high enough for me to get my big scope on them. Our Southern Horizon is very built up and the planets are very low this year from 52 degrees North.

      Best regards George

  4. 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

      orion25

      Have fun until the sky clears, George :) 

      Regards,

      Reggie

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

      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

      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

  8. 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

  9. 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  3 more
    2. orion25

      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!

      Cheers,

      Reggie :) 

    3. Hawksmoor

      Hawksmoor

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

    4. orion25

      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.

    5. Show next comments  3 more
  10. Interesting evening under starry skies in Redgrave, Suffolk. Sat next to a guy in the pub who played an officer on the Death Star in the first Star Wars film. Fell three feet into a sunken garden in the dark. Luckily the earth 's crust broke my fall. Survived to tell the tale and now back in bed in Lowestoft.

     George shaken but not stirred in Lowestoft

  11. My word the early hours of this morning in our backyard were very very cold, so cold that my laptop stopped working properly! Didn't get to bed until 5:30am but enjoyed seeing a fine lunar eclipse. By and large the clouds stayed away until 5:00am. so cannot complain.

    George contemplating an early night in Lowestoft

  12. Metcheck currently predicting clear skies for the lunar eclipse as seen from Lowestoft. Very excited! At the moment it is -3 C outside. Hope it warms up a bit in the next 24 hours or I will be hitting the hot marmite quite hard by the time it reaches totality.?

    George in preparation, looking for his mittens in Lowestoft

  13. Whoo hoo! we had stars in Lowestoft last night. ?  Not sure what was to blame for the dodgy images, was it the bad weather/Christmas lay-off affecting my kit or was the old astronomer using it  to blame? 

    Got out the 66mm Altair refractor on the Star Adventurer and my trusty bins , didn't get to bed until 3:30am.  Anyway I have a few more blurry images of 46P/ Wirtanen and I think I managed to capture a smudge that might be 38P/Stephan-Oterma. Could see 46P through my 11x80 bins handheld but very diffuse and cloud like would have missed it 'sweeping' but knew where to look. 38P not visible through my bins even though I knew where it should be, however the mince-pies aren't what they used to be.

    Real nice treat - saw a very bright and orange coloured meteor - slow moving in the east comiing from the direction of Orion.  No it wasn't a flare or firework!

    Nice clear night and dark after the Moon set, M81 and M82 very easy handheld through my big bins.

    George tired but quite content in Lowestoft.

    1. orion25

      orion25

      The pictures may be blurry, but the effort was pure and I'm sure very exciting :) I am well and doing more observing than imaging these days.  I did just get a nice image of M42 (an annual shot) and I'm looking forward to get a few pics of the lunar eclipse this weekend. I'm wishing you the clearest skies for this event. Oh, and how was the cold dive for charity?

    2. Hawksmoor

      Hawksmoor

      Hi Reggie

      Glad you're ok. Hope you have clear skies for the Lunar eclipse, I might try and image it if the weather looks good. As for the cold water dip on Christmas morning; well the good news was we had sunshine and no wind, the bad news was the hard frost and air temperature of 1 degree celsius. It was so cold!  My partner stayed in the water for 10 minutes, I managed 2 minutes but she had the benefit of a wet suit

      All the best George770472555_AnitaandGeorgeSouthwold25-12-2018.thumb.png.84bcb86d2a9e0e934a9c89f722940065.png

    3. orion25

      orion25

      Haha! The pictures say it all, George! Hope you both had a cup of hot cocoa by the fire afterwards :)  Thanks for posting the pics and best wishes with the eclipse. Our forecast is chilly but clear after rains pass through!

      Cheers,

      Reggie :D 

    4. Show next comments  3 more
  14. Weather remains inclement. Spent the day, off and on, assembling 3d printer kit. Off to bed as no stars and have just finished watching Modus, some violence, moderate swearing and a preposterous story line.

    Nighty night stargazers from George in Lowestoft

  15. All Christmas decorations taken down and put away but still no stars in Lowestoft.?

    1. Hawksmoor

      Hawksmoor

      Yes that Lowestoft and it still has Pleasurewood Hills open during the warmer months. High winds and tide today so currently enjoying a bit of local flooding. Our house on high land so not affected. A few stars visible tonight so better weather on the way? Fingers crossed.

      George awaiting sleep in bed in Lowestoft.

    2. SacRiker

      SacRiker

      I used to visit Pleasurewood Hills every summer when I lived in England. Loved it. Sorry to hear the weather is rough! I live in California now and we are having a lot of rain! Shock!

    3. Hawksmoor

      Hawksmoor

      In the words of 'Woody Bear' " Pleasurewood Hills is your biggest day out ever"! However, even in the rain, California probably offers a much bigger day out. Glad you enjoyed your visits to Lowestoft in the past. Only been to LA in California once long ago, had an excellent weekend on route to Auckland NZ. As a 'fossil nerd', La Brea Tar pits a highlight for me. Sea lions and pelicans in the harbour pretty special too.

      Best regards George

    4. Show next comments  3 more
  16. Happy New Year to all Stargazers and chums around the world. My new year resolution is to try and treat the Earth and all life on it a little better in 2019.

    George now back in Lowestoft (it's still cloudy)

    1. orion25

      orion25

      Happy New Year, George! :)  What a wonderful resolution; we should all strive for this.

      Reggie

  17. Merry Christmas Stargazers

    from George in Lowestoft

    1. orion25

      orion25

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, George :) 

      Reggie

    2. Hawksmoor

      Hawksmoor

      Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you Reggie.  I am currently sitting by a fire in our house, eating a tangerine and working up the courage to take a dip in the North Sea on Christmas Day with my wife and youngest son.  Swimming in the sea off a local beach on Christmas Day for charitable causes is a local tradition which we have not yet actively participated in. The sea is very cold at this time of year.

      All the best George

    3. orion25

      orion25

      I get chills just thinking about that cold dip! Best wishes to you and your family :) 

  18. Nice waxing gibbous  moon shrouded in hazy high level cloud over Lowestoft tonight. Watched a plane and its vapour trail fly silently past. The jet condensate illuminated by moonlight shone pale yellow against the dark grey sky. Made me feel sad, I don't know why.

    Nighty night stargazers.

  19. Every time I go to bed and post on here that the weather in Lowestoft is terrible, it immediately clears up. My partner woke me up at 2:00am yesterday morning and told me she should could see stars through the bathroom window. Downstairs I went in my dressing gown and through the kitchen door I could see the Pleiades. Minutes later still in my dressing gown but now equipped with big bins I took my first glimpse of Comet 46P Wirtanen as it sailed past the Seven Sisters. It then got a bit silly as I tried to get a photo using my Dslr on a Poundland mini tripod balanced on a set of boxes placed on a chair in my kitchen 'lean to' with the door open. No more than one out of ten for scientific method. Well I did manage to get a 'snap' or two of the 'blurred kind'. Will post something in the near future. Nice view of the comet through my 11x80 bins. It has quite a big coma when I compared it with the nearby Pleiades.

    Weather closed in again and I'm back in bed.

  20. Weather has actually managed to deteriorate today. Didn't think this was possible but I was wrong!

  21. Meteors and a bright comet up there but now I've returned from Berlin, what do I see before me .....?  Clouds.

    I've looked at clouds from both sides now both up and down and still somehow it's clouds occlusions I recall I really can't see stars at all.

    George in lyric mood, in bed and in Lowestoft.

  22. Interesting fact I discovered yesterday - the Dadaist and Surrealist artist Max Ernst was a big fan of the German astronomer Wilhelm Tempel - comet discoverer extraordinaire.  Max produced a series of drawings and symbols which he labelled as 'illegal astronomies'. Bloke was absolutely barking, thought he had hatched from an egg laid by his mother. However, his artistic endeavours offer wonderful off world and alien landscapes. Creations no more strange than the false colour images we routinely capture. I also discovered that he  used state of the art 'wet photography' techniques to achieve his finished works. Sounds a bit familiar? What he might have achieved if Photoshop had been available will never be known!

    1. Show previous comments  3 more
    2. orion25

      orion25

      Here is one of my astronomy-related music videos. I use these as educational tools as well as cool vehicles for my music:

      I incorporated some video from one of my piano performances at the local hall, some stock astronomy footage, studio shots, and some of own space cam footage and processed images of Mars. I hope you like it :) 

       

    3. Hawksmoor

      Hawksmoor

      Hi Reggie

      Your video and sound track are excellent. You are a very talented man! Thank you for your kind words re my bits and pieces on my blogs.  Merry Christmas to you from a very cloudy Lowestoft.

    4. orion25

      orion25

      Thanks, George. Merry Christmas to you and yours from balmy Macon, Georgia in the southeastern U.S. :) 

    5. Show next comments  3 more
  23. Tonight In between the clouds I had my first go at Mars. Small but still bright and now above the houses at the rear of our house. Wobblin' about like a jellyfish in the surf, but having been inspired by Reggie and his excellent October Mars post, I thought I would give it a go whilst the Moon was out of the way.  Haven't processed the AVIs yet but fingers crossed I might have one recognisable image to post sometime soon. I also tried taking a few stills of Uranus hoping to capture some moons but the the combination of too much murk, light pollution and high ISO probably will have ensured noise overwhelmed signal. Weather tonight very mixed and out of sink with Metcheck forecast.

    Nighty night all.

  24. Had a very nice evening at Sheringham Park - the landscape architect Humphrey Repton's swan song in Norfolk. Our friends treated us to a son et lumiere in the woods. Now I know one man's son et lumiere is another astronomer's light pollution but I must say The National Trust did it wonderful well. Light levels reasonably low and lamps well located and mainly red enabling night sight to be, in the large part, maintained.  So much so that the North Norfolk dark skies put on their own show for the naked eye to see.  I counted at least 10 Pleiads, could not only see M31 but could discern it's disc like shape and the Cygnus rift dark against a very bright Milky Way and the double cluster were all very prominent. I had the best views ever of the constellation Hercules, even the dimmer stars were visible, so for the first time, I could see just how big a constellation it is. Usually I just see the keystone and the rest is lost to the background. Similarly, Ursa Minor was clearly visible as a mini 'Plough'. Great night out for an old man but unfortunately I did miss a couple of bright meteors as I was looking the wrong way.

    As a consolation prize, I purchased a bag of chips from the chip van in the car park. Result!

    George back home and tucked up in bed. Nighty night stargazers.

  25. Changed my profile photo. At the weekend we attended a day long course at the London School of Mosaics. -  My effort - " Can you guess what it is yet"? -  A 'bright' comet with ion and dust tails plus three red and ancient stars.

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