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Status Updates posted by Hawksmoor

  1. 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.


  2. Merry Christmas Stargazers

    from George in Lowestoft

    1. orion25


      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, George :) 


    2. 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


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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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. 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 :) 


    2. 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.

    3. orion25


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

    4. Show next comments  9 more
  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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?

  13. 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.


  14. 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.

  15. 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  :)


  16. 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  9 more
  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. Obtained a 'book recover', preowned in excellent condition, hardback version of Chris Hadfield's 'An astronaut's guide to life' for £1 from Poundland.?


  19. 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


  20. 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.?

  21. 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)

  22. 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? ×




  23. 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.

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

    1. Beulah


      Good stuff. :)


  25. 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 .

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