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Hawksmoor

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Status Updates posted by Hawksmoor

  1. 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:

     

     

    Dampers.png

  2. Did some work on the pillar and also made a slit and diffraction grating holder for Spectrometer Mk3. Excitement mounts and then gets off again. :happy6:

  3. I was going to have a go at imaging Mercury from the churchyard with my small travel rig but the clouds rolled in at sunset. I also noted that the jet stream has positioned itself over the UK reminiscent of this time last year. Does it know that I'm almost ready to have my 127mm. Refractor back in operation on my new concrete pier?  I think it does - I hate you clouds and jet stream! :hmh:

    Grumpy George in bed Lowestoft

  4. Took the formwork of my reinforced concrete pier today. Not to shabby so quite pleased with the result. Lovely sunny afternoon.  Also watched as an almost full Moon appeared creamy white within the branches of my neighbour's tree. Very beautiful so took a quick snap with my Canon compact camera - all a bit shakey! :happy6:

    George back in Lowestoft

    Moon 09042017small.png

  5. Immobilized by too much pizza - but otherwise mentally alert!

    1. Knighty2112

      Knighty2112

      Yeah, we've all been there! ;) 

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

    Sweet dreams stargazers.

  7. Beautiful night for astronomy in Lowestoft tonight. Used my Altair Astro 66mm. Doublet refractor on  my Star Adventurer mount to take widefield images of Comet 41P Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak in Ursa Major.  Try as I might I wasn't convinced that I could see it through my 11x80mm binoculars but my Canon 600d DSLR captured it easily at ISO 1600 and 30sec exposure. Rather a nice little green comet! :icon_biggrin: Grandchildren coming tomorrow for the weekend, two very nice little girls :hello2: :happy7: , so image processing will take a very poor second place until at least Monday.

    Night night stargazers where ever you are.

    George

     

     

  8. 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

  9. Lowestoft Pier Construction (aka George's Column): First concrete pour accomplished and all covered up prior to the arrival of rain. Hopefully,tomorrow will be fine and I will be able to complete the concrete work with the second pour. Gave the steel levelling plate a coat of Hammerite - literally watching paint dry. Too jiggered to do more work on Spectrometer 3 Project - having a sit down before dinner.

    George 'tired but happy' in an overcast and rainy Lowestoft

    1. JimT

      JimT

      Well done George, good to hear you are getting somewhere.  Have restarted my observatory rebuild in what I can only say is a wreck of a garden, clearing it all up and laying the floor of the observatory a bit at a time.

      Jim

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

    2. Hawksmoor

      Hawksmoor

      Best of luck with your observatory floor.  Hope the weather stays fine for your construction works.  I was lucky with the weather today and managed to complete the concreting by about 5.00pm.  Its staying light to quite late now, spring has arrived.  Jupiter is looking good if a bit low in the sky.

      George

  10. 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

    George

  11. Aurora over Lerwick spectacular tonight. Have been watching it via webcams1 and 3 at Shetland.org. 

  12. Nice transparent night in Lowestoft. Spent a happy hour in our backyard with my big bins. Jupiter a big disc and at least one moon visible. Hercules rising in the east so had a look at the two globular star clusters. The Beehive cluster a very pretty sight through bins. Could also see the more distant and older cluster in Cancer. Ursa Major overhead so had a wander through the constellation. Leo and Virgo due South picked out the chain of galaxies. Gemini and Auriga low in the west but still able to pick out four Messier open star clusters. What a lovely night!

    Nighty night Stargazers

    George

  13. Better day working in the backyard on the pier. Managed to wire together the reinforcement for the free standing column.  It then started to rain with some force,  so decided to give up on the arc welding. Electricity and water not the best of bed-fellows. :icon_biggrin:

    Continued work on the pier formwork and started Spectrometer 3 project. I love 'bumbling' about in that shed!!

    Now sitting down with a beer. :happy11:

     

    Lowestoft Pier 010.png

  14. Lowestoft Pier build took a set back today. The electric concrete mixer that had rested quietly for 6 years under a tarpaulin on our backyard did not go when I plugged it into the National Grid.  Shocker :happy8: . Had to take it apart. :happy6: The electric motor had seized solid. Had to drill the main shaft to obtain sufficient purchase to free it with loads of WD40 and brute force. Finally got it reassembled and working at about 4.30 pm.:icon_biggrin:

    Onwards and upwards

    1. JimT

      JimT

      Silly boy George, you had me thinking a ship had hit the town pier or it had fallen into the sea :D

      Jim

  15. According to th BBC weather site, the weather last night in Lowestoft should have been good to midnight. It started well so out came my mini imaging rig and off I go with some video clips of the Moon. Waxing fibrous so I thought I would go for a mosaic composite using my 90mm ETX at about F13.8.  All was going well until the clouds rolled in. They began to clear and high level ice crystals took over. Nice 40 degree ring around the Moon but as for the video clips, there on in - blurry.  Astronomy must be one of the coldest and most frustrating of all hobbies. I'm just too obstinate to give up. :happy7:

    1. Hawksmoor

      Hawksmoor

      I hate predictive text. The moon was waxing gibbous not fibrous. Must say though, a fibrous moon would be different! :happy8:

  16. Had a quick go at Venus using my ETX 90 RA on my small  rig and QHY5-11 planetary camera. Over did the gain as Venus is so bright at the moment but at least I captured an image of the crescent before Venus dropped below my kitchen roof.

    Venus a 02-03-2017_3.png

  17. The crescent Moon with earthshine and bright Venus were so pretty last night!  Even the intermittent fine hazy cloud added rather than detracted from the beauty of the scene.  No need for any kit, two eyes were quite sufficient to take in the simple grandeur of this wide visual solar system pairing.

    1. JimT

      JimT

      Like it George, I just looked behind me and although quite light Venus is there in all her glory, last night I really got annoyed as the Moon and Venus was only a fingers with away from each other and although very cloudy I attempted to take a photo.  I gave up after half an hour as if the Moon was in the clear Venus was not so it ended up either one or the other.  As said I can see Venus but the Moon is a little far off, watch this space :)

      Jim

    2. JimT

      JimT

      Lovely sky George, watching the Moon moving towards Venus, hipe you are out there watching this

      Jim

    3. JimT
    4. Show next comments  21 more
  18. 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

      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

      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

  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. Nice clear night in the early hours of Valentine's Day.  Tried to find the two comets in and around Bootes. Sadly my trials and tribulations with binoculars and small refractor came to no avail. I might have got away with it, if it had not been for that pesky moonlight!  Cloud in Lowestoft tonight so in my warm  bed with March edition of Astronomy Now.

    Nighty night stargazers.

  21. Light snow and cloud in Lowestoft, so no chance of viewing the fast moving Comet in Hercules or penumbral lunar eclipse tonight.

     

    1. JimT

      JimT

      Been waiting and hoping for a little bit of clear sky all day George but no chance, grey skies all over.  Got on with resurrecting the garden observatory, coming along well, still lots to do   :)

      Jim

  22. 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

      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.

      George

    2. JimT

      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

      Jim

    3. Hawksmoor

      Hawksmoor

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

      So I'm off to bed.

      George

    4. Show next comments  21 more
  23. No stars tonight in Lowestoft. So off to bed.

    Nighty night space cadets.

  24. Another clear night until  23.00 when according to Lowestoft BBC Weather "The Fog" will come rolling in off the sea by 'Spivey Point'.:happy7:

    1. JimT

      JimT

      Nice one George, I decided not to open up when I seen the beginning of a foggy night here on the estate, gave me a rest anyway and an evening the better half :)

      Jim

  25. Well I think I captured an image on the 20th Jan 2017 of the asteroid Vesta with my Canon DSLR at  f=45mm mounted on my Star Adventurer, but it is one small dot amongst many!  I will collect a few more images towards the end of the month to see if it has moved against the fixed starry background.

     

    VESTA20012017enlargeanno.png

    1. JimT

      JimT

      George just done the one shot, just spent longer getting it on here then setting up the obsy :)

      You got it in the right place.

      1813a.jpg


       

    2. Hawksmoor

      Hawksmoor

      Excellent and well done! :hello2:

      George

    3. JimT

      JimT

      Thanks George but really it's the equipment, spot on and an excellent camera but am really chuffed :)

      Jim

    4. Show next comments  21 more
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