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Status Updates posted by Hawksmoor

  1. Weather still very mixed and suddenly winter cold here on the coast. But on a positive note our Tai Chi DVD has dropped through our letterbox and I have ordered a digital vernier caliper from Amazon for £13-99. I really wish the delivery man from Hermes would dress the part. A golden helmet and winged feet would be excellent. I've always felt rather let down by our local 'Badger Builders' whose workman don't wear black and white striped safety helmets.

    George waxing philosophical as the Moon wanes in Lowestoft.

  2. Bright full moon - (big wink for Neil) - with lots of high level wispy cloud. A few big jets flying silently across my field of vision. All rather beautiful through my big bins.

    George now in bed wondering when he might go 'imaging' again?

  3. Yet another lovely autumnal day in Oulton Broad with cloud moving in as night falls. However, my partner on her daily walk took this lovely photograph of the sun heading for the horizon over the Broad.


  4. Today I started building my 3d printer in kit form. Bewildering number of parts! Thank goodness they are well labelled. This will not be a fast process - after all I'm a 'simple country architect not an engineer Jim'! ? My partner is already getting twitchy with all the parts laid out in the 'clean room' or kitchen as she prefers to call it. Not sure how long she will be 'comfortable' with the kitchen table out of action?

    George in his slumber chariot considering 3 dimensional possibilities.

  5. Last night was beautiful in Lowestoft. Really clear night - all night.  On a plus side I set up to take some lights of M31 wide-style. On a negative side my NEQ6 Pro started to play up and in combination with the guiding software and my laptop turned all my stars into arcs. Got to bed at 5.30 am. pigged off!! ? BUT sitting out under the stars for five hours watching the Summer Constellations set in the west and Orion rising in the South East how can that be bad? M33 was really easy in my big bins and I think I spotted M1 with averted vision. Loads of Ms all round and the Garnet Star was big and red and beautiful. Not many meteors (saw three in five hours) but one was nicely spectacular. Have spent today in the backyard re-fitting my mount on its pillar - reduced the play on the central fixing -I also cleaned all the electrical contacts. Will probably reload PHD2 software before I go 'a guiding' again. When the stars come out tonight I shall realign on Polaris but I will give imaging a miss tonight cos I'm a really tired old man and according to Metcheck its going to rain here in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

    I rarely photograph my 'refractor in action' but I did early this morning and it turns out it was the only image worth a look! ?

    The Jodrell Plank Observatory.png

    1. JimT


      Glad you had a good night except for the photos, went for a stroll along the promenade, looked like rain this end when we started off home but stayed dry.  Up bright an early this morn to find the garden wet but not much rain fell around Kirkley.  Just wondering when I will start the pier up, still a few odd and ends to sort out before then namely PCs which I bought from a certain person whom the police have been interested in, see whats going local and get it all sorted  :)


  6. Been absolutely lovely all day here in Lowestoft. Nice now but looking at Metcheck and SAT24 it will be good and cloudy at 'midnight when the street lights go out'. So instead of doing a bit of imaging tonight, I shall be surfing the cosmos with my big bins and then it's full on sulking for me.

    George a bit miffed in Lowestoft?

    1. Hawksmoor


      Hi Jim

      Nice to hear from you. Are you well? And is your Observatory fully restored and up and running after last year's  storm damage?


    2. JimT


      Thanks, the observatory is being cleaned of whatever made its home there but I have yet to get to grips with the hardware that will happen in the next few weeks.  Done a reorg of the garden which took some time and then had a stroke, am okay now, spent a week in JPH, they looked after me well.  Will be good to get all behind me and start looking to the sky again, good to hear from you.

    3. Hawksmoor


      Sorry to hear that you have been unwell. Glad you are on the mend and hope you are stargazing soon. All the best.


    4. Show next comments  6 more
  7. Have just about cleared a backlog of projects and ready to go on my 3D printer kit that I had for Christmas last year. Made a great 'connection' today, for some time I have been wondering how to combine my digital photographic and artistic/ block print making  interests. Well on line I found an article in 'Print Making Today' all about using 3D printers to make - printing plates!  Job done!?

  8. Obtained a 'book recover', preowned in excellent condition, hardback version of Chris Hadfield's 'An astronaut's guide to life' for £1 from Poundland.?


  9. Well yesterday morning after 2:00am turned out clear and transparent. So I stayed out in the backyard until 4:15am when I called it a day. Used my 66mm Altair Doublet on my Star Adventurer mount to take some nice widefield images. Managed to get lots of snaps of the comet as it passed M35 in Gemini. Really enjoyed sweeping the sky with my big bins - M33 very obvious and the Andromeda Galaxy virtually went right across my bins fov at 11x. Could see the double cluster and M31 unaided and the Milky Way virtually overhead was breath-takingly bright. Also noted 5 bright meteors. Great to see Orion striding up and over my hedge to the South east. Guess winter is on its way. I will post an image of the comet tomorrow.

    George now in his Lowestoft slumber chariot awaiting sleep


  10. Weather currently a bit mixed here on the edge of the North Sea.  Just got back from the Lowestoft Seagull Theatre - really enjoyed the Liane Carroll Jazz Band/Trio - brilliant!  Now trying to capture a few images between the clouds with my mini widefield rig whilst awaiting earth spin to enable the comet now in Gemini to climb above our hedge. George out in the dark in Lowestoft.?

  11. Was going to image the Comet last night. My 'astro-mini-rig' was up and running by midnight and Metcheck for Lowestoft was showing 'clear all night'.?  Looked up at a sky predominantly cloudy but with an occasional blurry star just to engender that "if I stay up it just might clear" sort of feeling. I finally gave up and went to bed just after I tripped over a large hedgehog.?

    George feeling prickly in Lowestoft (no hedgehogs were hurt in the making of this post)

  12. Managed at about 1:30 this morning to clearly see and identify comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner through my big 11x80 bins.  Much less bright than I was expecting from my reasonably dark site. Must be my old eyes failing? ×




  13. Just watched the Ian Dury Biopic - excellent! Followed by learning the 'Sex and Drugs & Rock and Roll' riff and middle eight on my acoustic guitar in modal tuning. Feeling oddly 80s and punk for an OAP. Think I will give the 'hot chocolate' a miss tonight and live on the edge! ?

    1. Pete Presland

      Pete Presland

      Great band, musically and lyrically, some edgy lyrics/stories in their back catalogue. Almost "Chas n Dave" at times, then so reflective and then so caustic!

      Ian was a far cry from the dull, boring, plastic pop stars of today! "spasticus autisticus" the epitome of Ian Dury, DONT TELL ME WHAT TO DO! 

      One of my favs is "Poo Poo In The Prawn" lyrically brilliant! 

    2. Hawksmoor


      Thanks for your comment Pete. I hadn't heard "Poo Poo in the Prawn" So watched and listened on 'U Tube'- Excellent!  I love his use of 'rhyme and assonance' a phrase from which in his day, he would of undoubtedly extracted the liquid waste.  But any how -who couldn't fail to be made cheerful by ' the smile of a parrot' .

      Regards from a sunny Lowestoft by an unpolluted sea - courtesy of European Union Legislation.

  14. New keyboard now installed on laptop - £50 down but now fully operational.  George much happier in Lowestoft.

    1. Beulah


      Good stuff. :)


  15. Further to my last post from the Lake District, I'm back in Lowestoft and I have plugged an old keyboard into my Laptop and all is well.  So I haven't done anything more expensive than breaking some connections associated with the keyboard. Off to see the computer chap in Oulton Broad to see what can be done for a few pounds.  If too expensive, I will swop this laptop with the one operating my software defined radio meteor catcher - 'The LVST' at 'The Jodrell Plank Observatory' as this activity is 'keyboard light'. Thanks all for your comments .

  16. Sad o say I dopped my lapop and as a esul some o he keys on my lapop no lone wok!? On a moe cheeul noe I capued a nice wideield imae o he Milkyway and he Andomeda alaxy on 13 Au 2018 - sadly no meeos saw some u no picues - ey damp in he Lake Disic oo much condensaion.

    Autosave 9a_3small.png

    1. Geoff Barnes

      Geoff Barnes

      Oh dear! Whilst I sympathise with your predicament Hawksmoor, I still think this is one of the funniest posts I've seen! ?

    2. Beulah


      ROFL! It sounds like your teeth have been knocked out too! Thank you for the laugh - and great image.   :)


  17. Perseids -Smershieds! - 100 percent of your classic 'British Clouds' overhead. Now going to bed with the hump! -Full on dromedary!  'Remote Robotic Scopes' are looking more attractive by the minute!

    Disgruntled of Lowestoft

  18. Nice clear and dark night tonight. Spent some time in the backyard with my big bins. Watched a big jet plane lumber across the sky, lights flashing and contrails straddling Cygnus left in its almost silent wake.  Made me feel slightly sad. Not sure why?

    George about to turn out the light in Lowestoft.

  19. Ironically, tonight I watched the full moon rise serenely above the North Sea. Very beautiful but 24 hours too late.

    George eclipseless in Lowestoft.

  20. Well last night I could have photographed the Moon full on 'Lionel Richie' but tonight at 20;50 BST, no chance. Up on the cliffs at Pakefield with all my travel kit, I was nice and early at about 19:45. Clear view across the North Sea with just a little mist and some light cloud on the horizon. So I say to myself with a bit of luck I will capture a snap or two through the mist and cloud - very atmospherIc!  So we lug my kit from the car and set up. But oh no that 'e' word was about to work its magic and right on queue at 20:45 darkness fell and the four riders of the apocalypse obliterated all photons through south to east. - And then! - "hang on what light through stormed cloud breaks"? - "could that red disc be the Moon"?  A burst of 10 rapid shutter movements broke the cliff top silence.  - So, if anyone wants to see 10 images of the Saga around  the UK cruise ship heaving to off Lowestoft -  I'm your man. If you want to see a photo of me taking said saddo snaps, my wife kindly posted the one she took, on Facebook. She did not stop laughing for some considerable time after.

    George in a stormy and wet Lowestoft

  21. Hurrah! Finally captured this year's blurry image of Saturn resting on top of the ridge tiles of my neighbour's roof. My 18 year old 90 mm. Meade ETX Ra Mak riding on my Star Adventurer mount provided a video clip or two of the 'ringed one' at F12.5. All a bit ' Roger Moore' and ' noisy' but just enough 'signal' to satisfy my annual Saturn needs.

    Very nice night in Lowestoft tonight but as we have been to the Indian restaurant and have rather overdone the 'Kingfisher' I decided to give 'juggling astronomy-kit in the dark' a miss. Nice to eyeball three planets - Saturn, Jupiter and Venus - plus the Summer Milky Way.

    Nighty night all


  22. Weather looking good at the moment - tonight?


    1. Hawksmoor


      Interesting how one hobby impacts on  another. My thumb nail has grown to an outrageous length which is great for banjo picking. Turns out it is less than optimal for handling cylindrical planetary cameras. Camera  appears to be working although the uv-filter may require replacement after my rather shakey attempt to superglue it back into its aluminium bezel.  ?

  23. Stars tonight over Lowestoft. ? Realised that Saturn is too low for my big refractor on its pier. Only way to get a snap will be with my mobile rig from another site. My old 90mm. ETX RA to the rescue - now mounted on a Star Adventurer.

    George hoping for another clear night this week in Lowestoft.

  24. "and today's and tonight's weather in Lowestoft has been brought to us by clouds".?‍♀️

  25. Moon and Jupiter conjunction as viewed from our backyard tonight is a real pretty thing!

    1. Knighty2112


      Was planning on some observations tonight on both Jupiter and the Moon, but alas clouds though differently. :( 

    2. Hawksmoor


      Yes sadly the fog in Lowestoft tonight has put paid to any further observations of mine. Hopefully, there will be one clear night in June so I can capture my annual blurry image of Saturn!?

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