COVID meant that I was at

Forums General Discussion 2020 – how was it for you? COVID meant that I was at

Nick James

COVID meant that I was at home a lot more than I would normally have been, particularly in the Spring and early summer when the weather was excellent. I managed to do some imaging on 170 nights in 2020 (compared to 90 in 2019). Some of this was due to the better weather but most was due to the fact that I was around to use the telescope! Less subjectively the number of sporadic meteors picked up by my two meteor cameras remained similar to previous years (see the graph below).

There were many observing highlights in 2020. Sitting out in wonderful weather each evening in the spring and early summer watching Venus gradually sink into a contrail-free twilight, capturing an outburst of comet 29P just a few minutes after it had started, watching the breakup of C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) in night after night of clear skies and then, of course, there was the wonderful C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) in July. One of my most memorable nights was on July 11/12 when that beautiful comet was joined by bright NLCs on a perfect summer evening. Sadly, the following week I should have been on La Palma and I wonder what comet images I would have got from there but COVID put paid to that.

Finally, at the end of the year, I was amazingly privileged to see the December 14 Total Solar Eclipse from Argentina as one of less than 100 foreigners let into the country. Many thanks to AstroTrails for managing to arrange that despite the international travel situation.

All-in-all a very memorable year from an astronomical viewpoint but I do hope that things start to get back to normal in 2021. I do miss travel and pubs and all the things of normal daily life that we used to take for granted.