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Talk by Sandra Brantingham

I have been interested in astronomy from an early age, something encouraged by my parents and youth organisations that I was a member of. Joining the RAF as a photographer also helped, and when I went aircrew, seeing different skies around the world really brought on my enjoyment of the subject, although the intensity of the life made serious observations difficult. I joined Sigma, the Moray Astronomy club and was its secretary for several years, during which time I met Richard Pearce, who was the aurora director of the SPA. He indicated that he wished to retire from the post, and since I was interested, I was appointed Aurora & NLC director of the SPA on the 26th April 2003, a post which I still hold. I took over as Director of the Aurora and NLC section of the BAA in March 2016.  I am currently running a small group of astronomers in Huntly, and I have several talks, including “Stars & Planets”, Aurora”, “NLC”, “Comets, a strange tail”, “Armageddon”, “The Secret Life of Stars” and “ Tidal Forces” which I give to various organisations, ranging from cubs to local interest groups. I have several telescopes (16”goto Dobs, 12” Dobs, PST) camera’s & binoculars. My location on a 10-acre croft at 57′ 35” N 002′ 45” W gives me a good northern horizon and not too much light pollution so observing the aurora is relatively easy except for the Scottish weather. Finally, I must say that I do all this because I enjoy it and observing and understanding the heavens still gives me a great deal of pleasure.