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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 Feb 11

17:59 UTC

The faint tail of C/2018 Y1 (Iwamoto) needs a really dark sky. It is visible in the timelapse taken from Siding Spring, Australia.This consists of 10x60s exposures using iTelescope T09. The images were obtained just after 16:00 UTC on February 10. The FoV is 3 deg square and this is binned 4x4. There are lots of high-altitude, near equatorial satellites in this part of the sky!

2019 Feb 3

20:21 UTC

Having seen David Swan's timelapse of C/2018 Y1  from this morning I've done the same thing with my images here. These are 60s frames running at 12.5 fps so a speedup ratio of x750. The comet was moving at 7 arcsec/sec in PA 304 deg and the FoV is around 2.5 x 1.5 deg. It's sky motion will accelerate over the next week as it gets closer to the Earth. The comet should be around mag 6 on Feb 12 not far from Regulus.

2019 Jan 29

07:22 UTC

Last night was one of those rare nights when I got home early and the sky was clear and transparent from dusk until I had to go to bed just after midnight. Both telescopes ran without any problems and collected images of multiple different objects. The night started with a nova search in M31 and I still have multiple comet images to process. My meteor cameras also picked up some nice events so all-in-all a very productive night.

2019 Jan 20

22:46 UTC

Clear here at the moment for the TLE. Hopefully it will stay that way through the night. My preliminary images will appear here.

2019 Jan 4

20:06 UTC

During the 3 hour clearing last night (Jan 3/4) my video meteor system picked up 69 meteors, most of which were Quadrantids on maximum night. A (large) video showing all of these is here.


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