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About jamespels

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    North Staffs / Peak District

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  1. Nice pic and a cool effect! Had exactly the same thing with my Samsung Galaxy. I could see the crescent image move as I moved the phone slightly so 100% definitely a flare or internal reflection.
  2. Hi all, many thanks for the kind words, everyone! For now, Shallow Grange are looking after all the kit for us, I have renewed the domain hosting, etc. and kept the Paypal and bank accounts with their small surplus so PSP can be kicked off again in 2016 if anybody has the time to do so. If we get to this point again next year, I will fold PSP completely and distribute the remaining assets. I have just switched the SW250P / EQ6 combo I never used for a Celestron 5SE (very happy with it based on a 5 minute viewing last night - didn;t have time to cool down and the collimation is slightly out but
  3. Hope this is still in time to be of some use... I gave a small talk at my daughter's primary school (she is in year 1, 5/6 yo) and was promptly invited back to talk to year 5 (9/10 yo) so I guess I got something right... The key thing for me was introducing some very basic science principals in a fun environment so they do not go away thinking science is boring. For the first talk, I did the "why does the moon change shape" thing (note - a white balloon doesn't work - you need something solid: I used a globe removed from its base which was not ideal given it was obvioulsy Earth but worked!). I
  4. Hi everybody, with great regret, I have to announce that I am retiring from running PSP. Due to a change in circumstances (I have moved back into contracting and am away from home in the week), I am going to have to give up PSP so I can keep weekends clear for family stuff, help out with the school PTA and so on. I have discussed it with a few people who might be interested in picking it up and there are a lot of people willing to help out, but nobody has volunteered to run it yet. I am therefore opening it up to anybody who genuinely wants to and has the time to do so. The way I have been ru
  5. Hi all, Happy New Year to everybody... please bear with me a little on PSP2015 - it is proving to be a little more challenging than I anticipated. Thanks, James.
  6. * Grumble * Starting to get frustrated with STEMNet - I have arranged a few sessions with a local school to help teach physics to primary school students: talking about "why does the moon change shape" with yr 1 (5-6yo) yesterday, with a great Q&A session afterwards, and going back on Monday to talk about the lives of stars with yr 5 (9-10yo). Spoke to the local organisers (now being run by Entrust as a profit-making venture) and was asked to fill in forms so they could claim the funding!!! I wouldn't mind if Entrust put the money back into education but why on earth should a profit-making
  7. Quick reminder about this - fantastic opportunity to hear a great speaker on a really interesting subject... For anyone who is not aware, Kepler discovered the laws of planetary motion that formed one of the foundations of Newton's laws of gravity. He is most certainly on of the giants on whose shoulders Newton stood! Dr Chapman is an accomplished lecturer who has been a visiting professor at Gresham College and delivered the Royal Society history of science Wilkins Lecture, on the subject of Edmund Halley. We have a large lecture theatre at Keele University so there is plenty of space left -
  8. Hi all, I promised an update by mid November but it is taking a little longer to get this sorted than I anticipated. I cannot give to much detail yet but I have been discussing PSP with the local quarries and they have become interested in getting more actively involved. I am meeting with one on Friday 28 Nov and will have a clearer idea what, if anything, they can do support us by then. Also, we are possibly going to extend PSP to run from the Thursday for 2015 - again, more details to follow. This won't help with the moon but it will increase the chances of a decent night! Thanks, James.
  9. Yep, appreciated on the moon issue but for the last two years we have had cloud and rain over new moon weekend, preceded by fine and clear weekends! We are trying to strike a balance that increasing the chances of seeing something, even if that is the moon! Tbh, a half moon is nowhere near as bright as a full moon; it does not drown out DSOs across the whole sky and makes a decent observing target itself. Our only other option is to move to the Sept new moon but that clashes with Kelling so too many people would not be able to make it. animal666 and reddos: have you been to PSP before? There
  10. Hi all, just to let you know about the Dr Allan Chapman lecture, "Johannea Kepler - Astronomer of the Ellipses" coming up at Keele University (near M6 J15) on 29 Nov. Admission just £5 for non North Staffs AS members. Details here:http://www.northstaffsas.co.uk/allanchapmankeele.html
  11. HOW DID WE MISS IT????? "My Dob, it's full of stars!"
  12. Congratulations Cameron, really looking forward to seeing the pic...
  13. Pure guess, but... If comets are made up largely of water ice (dunno how much but let's go with that idea), and some can melt when the comet is near perihelion, could it re-freeze to form water ice boulders? At minus many degrees they would be hard like this. The colour would come from all the other material. Not sure how this could happen as liquid water should boil instantly in a vacuum bit could possibly happen deeper inside? Like I said, pure guess.
  14. Massively important achievement and an inspiration for generations. Huge respect and congratulations to all involved.
  15. On the surface... BBS News 24 is slightly ahead of the streams
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