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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 13 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.

2017 Sep 17


2017 Sep 15

07:27 UTC

Cassini's last day. I was there for the launch in October 1997, at JPL for the arrival at Saturn in 2004 and at ESOC for the Huygens landing on Titan in 2005. It's been a fantastic mission that has told us so much about the Saturnian system. I will really miss it.

2017 Sep 2


2017 Jul 25

2017 May 29

08:12 UTC

I've started to upload processed images from my recent La Palma trip to this Flickr album. I have dozens of fields to process but I had to start somewhere.

2017 May 14

2017 Apr 19

2017 Apr 10

22:40 UTC

The equipment I used at Sparsholt to image the four comets. This is a William Optics Megrez 72mm refractor operating at f/4.8 with a x0.8 field flattener. The camera is a Canon EOS600D and everything is mounted on a Vixen Sphynx mount. This is portable(ish) but it took three trips on foot to lug it down to the lower field.

22:37 UTC

The view west from the lower football field at Sparsholt during the BAA Winchester Weekend.

2017 Apr 7

2017 Apr 6

2017 Apr 5


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