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Nick James

I'm the Director of the Comet Section and the former BAA Papers Secretary and have been interested in astronomy for as long as I can remember, certainly since the age of 8. I joined the BAA when I was 12 (in 1974) and still have the letter from Rossie Atwell.  I am also an Assistant Editor of The Astronomer Magazine. Over the years I have written many articles for magazines and books, and co-authored "Observing Comets" which was published in 2003 as part of Sir Patrick Moore’s Practical Astronomy series.

Professionally, I am an engineer in the space industry, leading a team responsible for implementing highly sensitive and accurate systems for receiving and processing signals from deep-space spacecraft. I am also a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) ambassador and am keen to encourage more young people to consider science and engineering as a career.

In addition to all of this I spend quite a bit of time and money travelling around the world, often to see astronomical phenomena. As an eclipse chaser I have seen 16 total solar eclipses and have led trips to see the northern lights under dark skies.

I have a Youtube channel here where you will find a lot of my eclipse videos and other stuff. I also post photos on my Flickr site here. I also operate a couple of meteor cameras and the data from them is here.

2017 Apr 10

22:40 UTC

The equipment I used at Sparsholt to image the four comets. This is a William Optics Megrez 72mm refractor operating at f/4.8 with a x0.8 field flattener. The camera is a Canon EOS600D and everything is mounted on a Vixen Sphynx mount. This is portable(ish) but it took three trips on foot to lug it down to the lower field.

22:37 UTC

The view west from the lower football field at Sparsholt during the BAA Winchester Weekend.

2016 Nov 26

2016 Nov 17

22:11 UTC

The interview that Denis and I gave to CometWatch is now on Astronomy FM. It starts about 6 minutes in and goes on for a very long time. Denis sounds like he's talking from the bottom of a deep well. Thanks to Nick Evetts for arranging this.


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