Doesn’t time fly?!

personal
Hi everyone! I’m not much of a blogger as you may have gathered with few blog entries.

A lot has happened in the last 7 months or so. Things have been rather busy – having exams, studying, doing various projects, organising events for AstroSoc and now I am working over the summer – it seems never ending, oh well.

Exams went pretty well. A lot condensed into a short space of time – 13 in total in about 2 weeks! It seems I am averaging a first luckily, though I know I need to put in a lot of work if I am to secure it. I’m hoping this takes me forward to a PhD – it won’t be long until I apply. It’s literally counting down the months now (arghhh!)

AstroSoc hosted a number of meetings and became increasingly successful toward the end. We had speakers Dr. Ann Bonell, Leicester AS and Paul Money FRAS FBIS which had reasonable turnout. A key problem to address was keeping a regular society meeting, but having quality over quantity. It was felt that there weren’t enough meetings in previous years t have members turn up to trips. Perhaps this year there were too many meetings meaning it was difficult to be greatly prepared at times. We had key speakers which worked well, but having a good enough mix and balance is probably a key to a better success of the society. The Physics Ball was a huge success with over 100 people, including live bands and music.

AstroSoc has now officially merged to become part of LeSEDS as a division, ‘LeSEDS Astronomers’ like the existing ‘LeSEDS Rocketeers’. It was decided at the AGM on 14/05/2007 to do this in order to increase efficiency, hold larger socials, hold wider range of activities in both astronomy and space and hopefully provide the society with greater funding opportunities. I have now passed the position of ‘President’ of the society to a ‘Chief Astronomer’, in the capable hands of Adam Poundall, an enthusiastic 1st year Astrophysicist and amateur astronomer. The President of the society as a whole is now James Hutchinson, with a new position of Vice-President, John Burton.

On the amateur astronomy side I haven’t managed to do much observing unfortunately. Time has been something hard to come by with studying, exams, projects and now working. Living closer to the city means it is more difficult also, to observe even with the unaided eye. Recently though I managed to capture a glimpse of the Perseid meteor shower with my girlfriend, camping out in her back garden.

I’m now here in Leicester, doing research at the university again – this time analysing calibration data for an instrument called GERB, a Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget instrument that will fly on board a MSG (Meteosat Second Generation) satellite. See more on my research page. A lot of the students have gone, so it’s a little bit quieter. I’m keeping busy though, with a few friends as well as my girlfriend still about, so it’s not all work luckily. The project seems to be going well thankfully and I seem to be getting some good results out of the data.

It won’t be long and I’ll be packing up, going lots of different places and pit stopping Leicester every now and then, and until I can finally relax for a bit of the summer. It’ll be nice to have a good break after working lots. I’ll be going to Mallorca in September with my girlfriend, so we’re looking forward to that!

This Friday is our 1 year anniversary together and still going strong! I can’t quite believe it myself. We plan to go out for lunch, then have picnic on the park with champagne – hopefully the weather will be nice and sunny. In the evening we should be going out. The year really has flown by so quickly, though a lot has happened.

Come the end of September and we’ll be at university. I’ll be in my fourth and final year – a lot of work to do and my degree will be coming to an end (arghh!) I’ll be applying for PhDs and jobs.

Above everything else I really want to do a PhD. I know in myself I must work hard if I am to get through any competition. I love researching science and being at the forefront, learning and exploring new areas of science. Fingers crossed!

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