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John McCue

I graduated in astronomy from St. Andrews, then began teaching, mainly physics and maths. For many years I taught O level Astronomy classes, becoming GCSE, as an extra-curricular activity, which developed into the Cleveland Astronomical Society for Schools in 1979. Adults gradually took over the society, but I kept on with the astronomy school classes! While teaching full time and raising a family, I studied at Teesside university part-time, gaining an M.Sc. in Applicable Maths (second year project dealt with a self-written method of satellite orbit determination and a study of Skylab - we predicted its descent!) and a Ph.D. in Mathematical Astronomy looking at the evolution of the rotation of Venus. In 1994 our society opened a public observatory on Wynyard Woodland Park near Stockton-on-Tees, and in 2000 we opened the Wynyard Planetarium close by, in partnership with Stockton Borough council and the European Union. I have been working for the Open University on Space Science modules since 2002 though I'm retired from mainstream teaching. I was Venus coordinator for the BAA from 1983 until 1990, and am now Double Star advisor.

Local society membership: Cleveland and Darlington AS and Whitby AS.

2019 Jul 4

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