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Triangulation and Orbit Determination

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Nick James

Chelmsford, Essex, England

Camera / Lens Combination:

Watec 902H2 Ultimate / Computar 3.8mm f0.8, Az 312.0, Ev 38.0

Watec 902H2 Ultimate / Computar 3.8mm f0.8, Az 128.0, Ev 54.0



Nick has been interested in astronomy for as long as he can remember, certainly since the age of 8. He has been a member of the British Astronomical Association since he was 12, was for many years the papers secretary and now serves on its council. Nick is Director of the BAA’s Comet Section and Assistant Editor of The Astronomer Magazine. He has written many articles for books and magazines and co-authored Observing Comets which was published in 2003 as part of Sir Patrick Moore’s Practical Astronomy series.

Professionally, Nick is 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. This keeps him pretty busy but it provides sufficient funding to allow him to indulge in regular eclipse chasing expeditions. To date Nick has been under the umbra or antumbra 14 times (3 annular, 11 total, only two of which, including the UK eclipse in Cornwall, were totally clouded out) and has used video to document the events. Initially this was with simple analogue video cameras but more recently he has been using DSLRs in HD video mode attached to a telescope. During the 2010 Total Eclipse from Hao Nick was one of the first people to obtain an HD video of shadow bands projected on to thin clouds.

Nick operates both cameras from his home in Chelmsford and details of his latest captures are available on his Meteor Detection page.