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Status Updates posted by Hawksmoor

  1. No stars tonight in Lowestoft. So off to bed.

    Nighty night space cadets.

  2. Not really dark but had a pleasant 45 minutes in the backyard hand holding my big 11x80 bins. Quick sweep through Cygnus and Lyra. Couldn't identify M56.  Summer triangle always a beautiful naked eye asterism to view and the starfields around Sadr in my bins never disappoint.

    Saturn just visible between the rooftops and very yellow, couldn't pick out Titan. Neither could I find M10 or M12 in Ophiuchus as sky quite murky low to the south.  By contrast, M13, M92 and M5 all easy spots. 

    Now in bed ready to surf the realm of the unconscious.

    Night night stargazers wherever you are.

    • George zzzzzzzzzzzzzz Lowestoft :happy7:
  3. Obtained a 'book recover', preowned in excellent condition, hardback version of Chris Hadfield's 'An astronaut's guide to life' for £1 from Poundland.?


  4. One transit, two shadow transits and the GRS and...................wall to wall cloud.  GRRRRRRx3.  I'm right pigged off!  It doesn't matter how many times I look at BBC weather for Lowestoft or SAT24 or out the window, all I can see is CLOUD with a high chance of precipitation. GRRRRRRRx27.  Thats pigged off cubed.

  5. 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

  6. Purchased some mild steel reinforcement bar today for my concrete astro pier. Getting quite excited. Over my professional lifetime I have designed quite a lot of rc columns etc but his is the first one I will have built myself. If it turns out well I might name it George's Column, if it turns out badly I might have to hire a Jack hammer. My good natured partner is beginning to give me funny looks as I squirrel the pillar construction materials away in my shed. She has agreed the pier's location but I'm not convinced she is fully aware of its size relative to the rather minimal dimensions of our backyard. :happy7:

    Sleepless in Suffolk

    1. JimT


      Ohhh know what your going through George, good luck with getting it finished, hope this wind don't affect you in any way.  Just been out to check on the garden, a couple of problems but happy to say my half built observatory is withstanding the wind well, can't see a quiver.  Am happy to say my design will be helpful in this type of weather, no loss of roof :)

    2. Hawksmoor


      No wind damage up to now Jim and the wind seems to have dropped. Just been out in the backyard with my big bins. Really nice clear sky. Got some good views of a few  clusters etc. Beehive rather nice in a widefield view must try and image it with my 66mm Refractor plus focal reducer. Glad your observatory build is going well and that the wind did not cause you and it any problems.

      Regards Georgeo

  7. Quite a bit of cloud about tonight but I managed to see Comet NEOWISE under the Great Bear. Couldn't help but take a few 'snaps' through our bedroom window. I've had my money's worth out of my little Poundland tripod.

    It is a mind boggling thought that this comet last visited our planet in the Neolithic period and will not return for another 7000 years. There was a Neolithic presence on the coast at Pakefield which is only 2 miles from our home. I wonder what our distant ancestors made of it?

    Night all

  8. Quite pleased with these two blurry images. Jupiter and Saturn virtually perched on the ridge tiles of my neighbour's roof and imaged with my old ETX 90 Ra balanced (just) on a Star Adventurer mount.


  9. Returned from an enjoyable holiday break in Northumberland. Got to use my newly acquired Nikon 8x40 Action EX cf bins on seals and stars. Well pleased with these bins for hand held observations by the older gentleman!

    Weather in Lowestoft however, remains poor and much as it was when I left. Will I ever get to image Saturn and Jupiter with my pier mounted scope or will the hedge grow back closing my window of opportunity ? A snap or two of Mars would be nice too!

    George in bed and under a cloud in Lowestoft.

  10. 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.   :)


  11. Saturn and Mars too low on my southern horizon. Gave up at 1.00am. One blurry video of Mars and some Moon clips. Sky very light , probably time for a short summer break.


  12. Second concrete pour on 'George's Column' completed today.  Now the wait whilst the concrete cures and before I can remove the shuttering.  Two of my younger grandchildren are visiting at the weekend so I will  leave the  shuttering in place  until Monday.

    Night all

  13. Sky over Oulton Broad has just cleared. Little bit of high level scattered cloud remains and some haze towards the northern horizon mixed with light pollution from Great Yarmouth. Comet NEOWISE still visible to the naked eye but not so sharp as when last viewed on the 13th July. It has moved quite a distance west towards Ursa Major. The tail appears longer. A really nice thing to see when viewed through my 11x80 mm bins. Had a quick look at the Double Cluster always a treat. Jupiter and Saturn very bright to the South. Saw a nice white fast moving meteor, going south to north, before I called it a day and came to bed.

    Night all

  14. Spectrometer Mk3 has moved on a bit - started to put the separate parts together and in a '4 year old kid with a new toy' sort of way I could not resist poking the fibre optic cable out the window and squinting down the camera end of the beast. Low and behold when I inserted the 0.15mm. slit and 600 line/mm. grating I could see a small displaced but definite continuous spectrum. Will it actually work? - "Tension mounts and then gets off again"

    Sheds is off tomorrow as we have visitors - but maybe at the weekend ?

    George 'ever so slightly excited' in Lowestoft

  15. Spent all day in the loft installing a bathroom extraction fan plus ducting. Now I know how Quasimodo felt. Nice gibbous Moon waxing quietly outside but I'm in bed.

    Night night Stargazers.

  16. Spent an hour or so in the shed on the ongoing 'Spectrometer Mk3' build.  I'm not convinced this  'Heath Robinson' contraption of mine is going to work but hey-ho - I've started so I'm going to finish.  On a slightly more positive note, this particular DIY journey into the unknown has been relatively inexpensive and the bits I have purchased are easily recyclable for more and the equally pointless future projects with which I am determined to fill my ongoing retirement from gainfull enterprise.  One of the minor benefits of being a compulsive hoarder and inveterate tinkerer is a shed full of stuff.:happy6:

    I really like stuff and sheds, stuff in sheds and sheds with stuff in 'em. My shed runneth over with stuff!:happy7: Thats why I've got two sheds!

    George in Oulton Broad sitting on a sofa contemplating the philosophy of 'stuff in sheds' and the imminent possibility of Pizza .


    1. JimT


      Ha ha, lovely one George, I do the same and once the observatory in the garden is complete I will turn my time to the attic and start sorting out all the bits and pieces that have been collected over the byears and look to turning it all into a "shed" of nicknacks for my future experiments and projects :)


  17. Starry night in Lowestoft tonight.:icon_biggrin: Just returned in from the cold early morning air having captured some images of comet C2015 V2 (Johnson):happy7:. Pleased to have got some data as weather forecast for rest of week is grim and moonlight will also become a problem as we move into May

    Nice crescent moon exhibiting earthshine. Set fairly early so not a problem for the pursuit of faint fuzzies. :icon_biggrin:

    So off to bed for me stargazers. Nighty night one and all.

    George - tired but happy in darkest Suffolk.

  18. 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.

  19. Started preparatory work on my fixed pier and spectrometer mark3. I like a nice 'slow burn' project or two.  Night sky over Lowestoft not conducive to observational astronomy other than in radio frequencies. If all else fails I've lots of meteor radar ping data to analyse from last year.

    And so off to bed and dream land.

  20. Terrible night in Lowestoft. In the short time it takes me to walk from my kitchen to the shed I became fully immersed by rain in stair-rod formation. Checked that the LVST was still monitoring meteor activity over southern France. All OK but not much radar on  plasma action. The sky over the Jodrell Plank Observatory was coal black and robbed of all light.   I wasn't expecting to encounter a Balrog in Suffolk - thought they were native to Moria. :happy6:

    George the Grey now at his bed in  a moist and soggy East Anglia.

    1. JimT


      Well it was a clear sky for all of five minutes George, enough time for me to open and reclose the roof last night, never got any rain here, you have your own cloud?   lol


  21. Terrible night, rain and gale force winds. In bed as I've got a dose of 'man flu'. Off to sleep in a Vick micro environment of self pity.

    George 'snotty' in Lowestoft.

  22. The Observatory is looking good Jim! Nice kit too!


    1. JimT


      George, nice to hear from you, thanks.  Am afraid I had a lot of problems getting to where it is now, mainly the weather and a bad roof design but all okay now.  Been a very busy time the last few months now it's relax time, sitting back and enjoying it all.  I have not been able to look in on you so was wondering how your pier was getting on.  Was out tonight learning about the CGE, it's wierd, does the opposite to what one would think it should do so a bit of a learning curve :)  Off to bed now, just clearing up here, take care and thanks again :)


    2. Hawksmoor


      Glad you've sorted your roof out. The whole set up looks impressive.  My pier is working fine but have been away looking after grandchildren so it has not had much use since end of May.

       As have been elsewhere - have laptop can travel -  I've been using the PIRATE Open University robotic scope on Mount Teide, Teneriffe  - via the Internet.  Bit of a 'one shot pony' but a 17.5 inch scope on top of a volcano packs a big punch on a 3 minute exposure. 

      Clear skies from George in Bed in OB.:happy7:

  23. The pier is just about complete, fitted cork and rubber vibration dampers today.  Have only to attach counter-weights to the NEQ6Pro and polar align and I'm ready to go.  Come on jet stream clear off and take the clouds with you.  Jupiter and comet C/2015 V2 Johnson await my attention.:happy7:




  24. Today  Suffolk County Council swapped an all new LED lamp for the old high pressure sodium lamp outside our house. Looks very bright but luckily our house is in between the lamp and our backyard from which I stargaze. Let's hope in my lifetime, the Council continues to turn the street lights off at midnight.  I will let you know how I and the new lamp get on!

    George from Lumenstoft.

    1. Hawksmoor


      Yes Jim,  I'm a bit worried  as they have left a lot of sodiums all around me but changed the one outside my house to LEDs.  As LED lamps are cheaper to run I'm hoping they dont leave mine on over night whilst turning out the rest. It did go out at midnight last night but you never know what they have planned.  I dont think it would affect my astrophotography much but it would stop my wife from getting a good nights sleep. The  lamp is virtually in line with our bedroom window.  She  is a very poor sleeper anyway and  is very light sensitive.  Keeping my fingers crossed that after midnight it will remain astronomically dark in our bit of  Oulton Broad.


    2. JimT


      You should be okay George, all the minor road lights are going off, I think it was a one off over the Christmas period.  This changeover will take awhile as it seems to be a bit haphazard, one on each street every month or so   lol


    3. Hawksmoor


      Hooray it's just gone off!:hello2::hello2::hello2:

      So I'm off to bed.


    4. Show next comments  15 more
  25. 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.

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