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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 15 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.

2020 Jul 7

03:06 UTC

I was incredibly lucky with the weather this morning in Chelmsford UK with a narrow slot of clear sky low down in the direction of the comet. C/2020 F3 was easy naked eye this morning. It is higher and in a darker sky than yesterday. The binocular view was fabulous. This is a single 5s frame taken at 0128UT using a 200mm, f/2.8 lens and a Canon EOS550D. 

2020 Jul 6

22:04 UTC

Here is my processed image of C/2020 F3 from last night along with a movie showing it rising above the local trees and TV aerials.

2020 Jun 20

2020 Jun 7

06:46 UTC

NLC again this morning. Timelapse here.

2020 May 20

2020 May 17

2020 May 15

2020 May 13

2020 May 12

2020 Apr 25

09:39 UTC

Managed to get a video of the Starlink-6 chain two days after launch last night despite the bright sky. This is a video using a Sony A7S with a Canon 200mm, f/2.8L lens (FoV 10 x 7 deg). The video started at 2020-04-24 19:59:00 UTC and the bright star at the top is Betelgeuse.The video is here:

2020 Apr 21


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