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Alex Pratt

My interest in astronomy was sparked by the American and Russian spaceflights in the 1960s, and being presented with books such as The Observer’s Book of Astronomy (Moore), A New Way to See the Stars (Rey) and Starlight Nights (Peltier).

Over the years I have enjoyed observing and photographing the Sun, Moon, meteors, comets, planets, stars and galaxies, from the days of developing and printing Ilford and Kodak negatives in a darkened kitchen through to using CCDs, webcams and DSLRs. I have seen a number of total solar eclipses from fascinating locations around the world, although my travelling companions have now retired from this pursuit.

My main interest is video astronomy, applying video techniques to record transient phenomena, conducted from my observatory, IAU code Z92. My programme includes recording meteors, asteroidal and lunar occultations, performing video astrometry of asteroids, Near Earth Objects and comets, and video photometry of eclipsing binary stars.

I am a member of IOTA-ES, attending most of their annual ESOP meetings since 1997 and I am a member of the Editorial team of the Journal for Occultation Astronomy. I proofread its contents and help to rephrase articles by authors whose first language isn't English, including translating some contributions from American into English.

I am co-owner of the UKoccultations discussion group, initiated and led by Tim Haymes, BAA Occultations Coordinator.

I have observed meteors for many years, am a member of the IMO and am Assistant Director of the BAA Meteor Section. I co-founded NEMETODE, a network of video meteor cameras in the British Isles and I co-manage the NEMETODE discussion group.

Local society membership: None

2018 Mar 2

11:53 UTC

I agreed to give a meteor talk this evening to my pals in the AS of Edinburgh but yesterday I could only get as far as Newcastle. Further north the railway line was blocked by snowdrifts. The line to Edinburgh is still closed and the meeting has now been cancelled.

I always enjoy visiting Newcastle so I spent a while in the Discovery Museum, adjacent to the Discovery School where the BAA's One Day Spring Meeting will take place. Being an occasional comet observer I also dropped into one of my haunts, The Victoria Comet.


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