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Status Updates posted by Hawksmoor

  1. 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

  2. First night for some time that was billed as 'mainly clear', so got out my scopes even though it was a full moon.  It also rained as soon as I connected my NEQ 6 to the National Grid. Didn't mention rainfall on any of the weather sites.:happy6:

    Used my new fixing plate to piggy back my Altair Astro 66mm Refractor on the 127mm Refractor. Obtained two video clips to put together a two pane full moon image. Also captured some video of Neptune using the 127mm Refractor and a x3 Barlow. Very low near my horizon so lots of colour dispersion and the very small image was wobbling about in the thermals rising off my neighbour's roof.

    Now in bed, photons viewed , collected and stored on my orange clockwork laptop computator ,tired but happy of Lowestoft.

    Nighty-night stargazers

  3. Foggy night in Lowestoft, so no astronomy from our backyard ! Sad!

    Sweet dreams stargazers.

  4. Foggy tonight in Lowestoft and I'm the worse for alcohol - so no astro -imaging tonight.

    George inebriated in Lowestoft.

  5. Funny sort of day in Lowestoft. Had sunshine and rain and thought there was little chance of stargazing. Anyway, coming to bed just after the the street lights go out, I always out of habit check out the sky over the old backyard and low and behold tonight there were stars:hello2:

    So I grab my big bins and managed 15 minutes before the clouds started forming. What a great 15 minutes too. Sky was proper dark :happy6:The milky way was visible from horizon to horizon. I managed to see The Veil and M27, not always a given through bins from my backyard and I think the globular M58 (if so a first for me with bins). Best of all ,just before cloud o' clock , an absolutely splendid slow moving white and very bright meteor travelling  from east to west and from my perspective at the same Dec as Altair.  I'm now in bed happy and ready for sleep.

    Astronomy is great even in small discrete parcels, much like photons in fact.:happy7:

    Nighty-night stargazers where ever you are.

    George under starry skies tonight in Suffolk.

    1. Hawksmoor


      Whoops I meant M56,  M58 is a spiral galaxy.

  6. 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.

  7. 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 .

  8. 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. 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!


      Reggie :) 

    2. Hawksmoor


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

    3. 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.

    4. Show next comments  6 more
  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. Good call to get my scope out tonight. Lots of stars over Lowestoft. Two in the morning and my camera is still clicking - hope the battery doesn't die on me as all the kit is behaving itself up to now. Clouds haven't rolled in yet either. :hello2:

    George not in bed yet in Suffolk.

  11. Good heavens! another night that appears to be clear. Hope it stays that way, Already out playing with my mate Orion.

    George outside in the dark wearing a woolly hat In Lowestoft

    1. orion25


      Enjoy it for all its worth, George! :D 

      Don't forget to to see Venus and Neptune less than a degree apart on Sunday and especially Monday evening.




    2. Hawksmoor


      Hi Reggie. Nice to hear from you. I have been taking full advantage of the unusually clear skies over Lowestoft this weekend. Venus has been a spectacular beacon in the early evening and Orion strides over my south facing backyard for most of the night until I lose it behind a roof at about 2:00am. Have been working on a couple of widefield images of Orion for a day or so which I hope to post soon.

      Had a great day out with friends today in rural Norfolk. Had an excellent lunch at a posh pub. Most unusually it had original art works by Tracey Emin, Damion Hearst and Lucien Freud on the walls. They also had a herd of about fifty red deer with very large antlers in the adjoining grounds. Didn't get home until about 21:00 so even though the stars were shining brightly over our house l decided to give stargazing a miss for one night.

      Hope you are well and enjoying the skies over Georgia.

      Best regards George

  12. Good night last night in Lowestoft. Moon didn't peak over my fence until about 2.30 a.m. so had a couple of hours after the street lights went off for imaging fuzzies. Had a go at part of the Veil Nebula. Well I knew more or less where it was in he sky but could I see it through my finders or my big bins? 

    In the end, with time running out, I pointed my refractor at where I thought it was, slapped my focal reducer on to increase the field of view, added my DSLR and took a 30 sec light at ISO 6400 and suddenly there it was!  Managed to get a dozen 3 min subs at ISO 800 without satellites, planes and contrails. High level cloud appeared at about 1:45am so took some darks and flats before packing in for the night. Will post image tomorrow.

  13. Had a good day building my telescope pier. Welded up the mild steel reinforcement and chem-fixed to concrete sub-base. Also chem-fixed shear studs into existing concrete. Finished fabricating timber formwork. Weather and wife permitting should be able to complete first concrete pour tomorrow.

    Night all


  14. Had a medley of meteorological treats in Lowestoft today. Started with torrential rain, then hail, then sleet followed by snow. Finished off tonight with thunder and lightning with clearing skies and stars visible as I made my way upstairs to Bedfordshire.

    Nighty night stargazers wherever you are.

    George in bed in Lowestoft.


    1. Hawksmoor


      Nice to hear from you Jim. I haven't done much stargazing in the last few weeks. Weather and Christmas have combined to keep my scopes in their cases. Did get one night with my bins and saw a very bright and beautiful Geminid meteor. It just dropped out of the sky and fell down below the Great Bear's tail. Real pretty thing!

      Merry Christmas to you and your family.



    2. JimT


      Hi George, just had a one night outing myself, the dew stopped that night in it's tracks after an hour, since then it has been either the snow or rain so that is it till the new year.  Thanks for the Christmas greetings, wish you and the family the same, I'm afraid we don't bother with Christmas, no children and being a distance from any relatives we tend to have a quite time, this year we are away to Switzerland for  a week courtesy of Belle Coaches, a small village enclosed by glaciers so will be getting heavy gear on.  Okay, take care and enjoy the next couple of week and don't get cold out with your bino's  :)


    3. Hawksmoor


      Have a great time in Switzerland, stay safe and warm.


    4. Show next comments  6 more
  15. 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.

  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


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


  17. 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!?

  18. 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

  19. Heads up. I've probably done for the weather tomorrow in the east of England as I'm off to watch the 'cricket' at Chelmsford.

    Nighty night Stargazers wherever you are.

  20. 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?

  21. Horrid, damp and cloudy night in Lowestoft. Only improved by a glimpse of the ISS passing overhead and by watching the Martin Scorsese Bob Dylan film biographies on BBC Four. Got a new preowned/loved acoustic guitar from my eldest son on my birthday. Have put on a set of new extra light weight strings and have lowered the action. Tomorrow, in our living room and to an audience of one, I will perform  'A hard rain' with nostalgia and uncomfortable contemporary relevance.

    I have retired to my bed and await the arrival of Morpheus or Aurora, whichever comes first.

    Nighty night everyone.

  22. 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


  23. I dont know!

    I decide to get my 5inch refractor out and on its pier, first time in a while. Lovely sunny day here on the coast. Beautiful blue sky, as you can see on the photograph from this pm. Within literally minutes the sky turned as black as thunder and has remained that way. 'Metcheck clear sky' completely ignored by the weather. This hobby is not for the faint hearted. You can probably work that out for yourself if you noticed my 'tidy' wiring festooned over the scope and its locale. Don't do this at home kids!

    Walk on the wild side 010small.png

    1. orion25


      I am well and hope you are too, my friend.  Been having some really nice skies my way with less pollution and aircraft (but still those bothersome geo satellites). I can't wait to see your images. I've taken several widefield shots of the waxing crescent and Venus. Did you see Venus cross the Pleiades earlier this month? I got some cool pictures of that.


      Clear skies,

      Reggie :)

    2. Hawksmoor


      Glad you are keeping well. I did see your sequence of images of Venus crossing the Pleiades. I thought they were a very good set. I missed the event as weather was poor here. My last good weather window was either the 28th or 29th and just before the Venus Pleiades conjunction. I saw Elon's Starlink Satellites for the first time on that night. It was quite spectacular as they crossed the sky on either side of the ISS.

      I've also noted the reduction in planes and improvement in air quality. I also observed that the signal to noise ratings on PHD whilst I was 'guiding' the other night were really good. I guess that is a measure of good seeing and improved air quality.

      I've been processing the images today but not quite finished them. Tomorrow I'm providing support for my grand children on 'lock down' in three separate towns around the UK. I'm hosting an internet 'art class' for them. My partner did a 'cooking class' for them today.

      Hopefully, I will get some time to finish my image processing tomorrow and get them 'posted'.

      Best regards and stay safe.


    3. orion25


      I'll be waiting with bated breath, lol!

    4. Show next comments  6 more
  24. I have just put a post in the wrong album. Can anyone tell me how to delete it or better still move it to the appropriate album?

    Confused of Lowestoft.

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