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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.

2019 Sep 29

22:57 UTC

Finally got around to editing my video of the 2019 July 2nd Total Solar Eclipse. It is on youtube here.

2019 Jul 28

2019 May 27

00:56 UTC

Youtube video of the Starlink pass is here.

2019 May 26

23:11 UTC

I had a video running for this evening's 2130 UTC pass of the Space-X Starlink train. The sky was bright and cloudy but I recorded 14 of the Starlink spacecraft. I was using a Sony A7s with an 85mm lens at f/1.4, 1/25s, ISO20000 pointed just left of Spica. The first one came along at the time predicted but the rest were strung out over around 3.5 mins. Limiting mag of the video was around 7.5. The spacecraft were all around mag 5.5.

2019 Feb 27

08:02 UTC
 Very unusually for Chelmsford I have had four clear nights in a fow. C/2018 Y1 is moving less then one field width per night so I have put together this composite showing its motion:

2019 Feb 23


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