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Rob McKay

Rob McKay MSc CChem MRSC - member since 1973-4. I have had an interest in astronomy and spaceflight since aged about 6 (!) when shown Gagarin and Glenn etc in newspaper photos and having my Dad point out "the Plough" and Orion. I never imagined that I would have a 40 year career mostly in the spacecraft business. My profession of chemistry has quickly turned to materials and processes engineering and to the application of those in spacecraft build; working in Marconi / Astrium and as a consultant at The European Space Agency and now independently. I've done a bit of serious backyard astronomy and encouraged my family and others. Mostly however, casual observing these days. Main interests / observational targets are planetary, lunar and meteor. My wife and I will be in Nebraska for the August eclipse (YESSSS!!! we saw it!!) and onward to explore some parts of the USA we have not yet covered. We were lucky for 1999 in Normandy (I knew Cornwall would be a dead loss!!) so hoping for same luck in Nebraska. Always interested to chat about astronomy, spaceflight and spacecraft construction. Long timed owned scope is a ~40 year old 20cm Newtonian equatorial with optics by H Wildey.

2017 Oct 18

20:27 UTC

Total eclipse, Nebraska. Spectacular after a mad dash through the corn fields!  We had made a recce on the previous day for centre line locations southwest of Lincoln NE.  On arrival at the chosen spot on one of the "mile roads" amidst the farm lands, a gloomy front could be seen sneaking up from the south.  Clear skies seen to the north instigated a half hour wiz along lanes and minor state roads to Beaver Crossing, just south of Interstate 80.  There the eclipse was seen in its full glory (more detailed report to follow) in clear skies. The relocation only cost us about 10 seconds loss of maximum totality, a small price for clear skies.

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