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Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020- Our Sun - Winner 10th September 2020

On Thursday 10th September I attended the virtual Royal Greenwich Observatory awards ceremony and I won the Our Sun category. I am so happy! here is the winning photo

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020- Our Sun - Winner
Liquid Sunshine
Celestron C11 / Baader Solar film ND3.8 + Continuum filter / 5x Powermate / ZWO ASI174
2019-04-21 Sun_084027_21_04_2019

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Noctilucent clouds and Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE)

This summer the Noctilucent cloud season has been spectacular especially as during the height of the season we were graced by the most beautiful naked eye comet for 20 years. It came and brightened and then dimmed again all within a couple of weeks.

It was wonderful to get up in the night at 2.30am and wander the streets alone to my favourite place in the cow field near my home and enjoy the celestial show in peace and quiet. I will never forget this summer.

2020-07-12 Comet NEOWISE 01:52 UTC

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Solar Analemma 21st December 2019

Back in 2016 I set myself a challenge to take an image every weekend at exactly 11am (GMT) or 12pm (BST) (to the second) from exactly the same place and the same camera angle to get an accurate position of the Sun. I used an electricity pylon to accurately align the camera and always placed the tripod on markers to get an accurate position. It was more of a challenge than I expected with lack of sunshine and holidays. Finally after 4 years of work I have filled the gaps and managed a solar analemma.

2019-12-21 Analemma 2016-2019 version 2

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Sunsets and green flashes 14th September 2019

On the 14th September 2019 we were travelling home from France on the late ferry across the English Channel. I had heard word from a fellow astronomer that conditions to view the elusive green flash at sunset were good as he had seen it the night before.
I had the camera on the hand rail of the ship (cross Channel ferry) and kept clicking (hopefully in the right direction) but watched the sun set with my eyes. I witnessed with my own eyes the green flash for the first time. It was an intense green sparkle like a flashing green diamond, it was breathtaking but lasted only a second. A wonderful experience! thankfully I also had a photo but I think the witnessing by eye was far better.

Green Flash - crop

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Deep Sky Imaging in Spain 23-29th June 2019

I have always loved seeing images of galaxies and nebulae but unfortunately I do not have the correct equipment to be able to do this at home. I also live in Cheshire with possibly the worst light pollution, not to mention my neighbour who lights his entire house up every night and all night for some unknown reason. It was great to get the opportunity last week to escape from the UK and visit a friend in Spain. The days and nights being clear blue every day and the mountains of Andalusia being free from light pollution.

Eagle Nebula

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Destination Star Trek Birmingham 20th October 2018

It was my first time at a Star Trek convention on Saturday. It was interesting, crowded and strange. It wasn't what I expected but I have sort of warmed to it after the event. I don't know what I was expecting really. I was amazed to see so many Star Trek actors, all looked happy and were so welcoming and friendly. There were also a lot of folks dressed up in costume too, some were absolutely fabulous and must have put so much effort into achieving such a good look. My main mission was to meet two women of Star Trek that have always inspired me. The first was Nichelle Nichols (Uhura - Star Trek Original series), she paved the way for equality in Sci-Fi at a time when women were usually used as decoration. The second was Kate Mulgrew (Captain Kathryn Janeway - ST Voyager) the first female captain of a Starship. Sadly Nichelle Nichols was unwell and was unable to turn up on the Saturday that I was there, well, she is 85 years old bless her. So here is my encounter with Captain Janeway, she was absolutely lovely.

20-10-2018 Destination Star Trek, Birmingham

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Imaging the Sun in high resolution

It has always been my dream to image the Sun at a much higher resolution using a large aperture telescope. After winning the solar section of Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 I was lucky enough to have a fair amount of prize money to spend on this dream. It was always a consideration that my seeing conditions here in the UK under the jetstream and usual bad weather would make this unrealistic, but I thought I would give it a try as I had the money anyway.

So last autumn I bit the bullet and ordered a Celestron C11
Celestron C11

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