Guildford Astronomical Society

Dr Paul A Daniels

Dr Paul Daniels - GAS - Credit: Paul DanielsDr Paul Daniels
Credit: Paul Daniels

Paul has been interested in Astronomy since the age of 13 (in the days of the Apollo missions and the first Moon landing) when a school-friend let him look through his 4" Newtonian reflector and many happy nights were spent on sun-loungers in the garden watching for meteors. The ephemerides in the 1969 BAA Handbook particularly intrigued him and that was the start of a passionate interest in how such things were calculated and a desire to know more about the solar system.

Paul went on to get a degree in Astrophysics from QMC, London University, where he served as the QMC Astrophysical Society's Secretary and Chairman in his 2nd and 3rd years and introduced luminaries such as Dr Jocelyn Bell-Burnell, Prof Ken Pounds, Dr Patrick Moore and Prof Sir Hermann Bondi.

In 1981 he earned a PhD from Sheffield University studying aspects of dust particle accretion and the structure and evolution of comets and, during that time, gave adult evening class lecture courses about the solar system and was the first Physics postgraduate student at Sheffield to give an undergraduate lecture course (Minor Bodies of the Solar System).

Another year was spent at the Max Planck research institute in Garching (near Munich, Germany) developing some prototype software for ROSAT before, in 1983, his career moved away from Astronomy and into computing.

Paul has been a freelance IT contractor since 1988 and joined GAS in 2000 to renew his interest in Astronomy. He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Paul was President of GAS between 2012 & 2018, he is VP Astronomy for the Royal Astronomical Society

DateTalk at GAS meeting
6 Jul 2006Kepler Is Not A Klingon Toast!
4 Oct 2007No Sultan's Turret?
6 May 2010May the force be with you
22 May 2011Shooting Stars and Dirty Snowballs

Given as a public talk at the Leith Hill Astronomy Festival and at a public outreach event at the Royal Greenwich Observatory, Herstmonceaux

Download Paul's presentation files here [ZIP: 7.40MB, Public] and here [ZIP: 7.88MB, Public]. You'll need to un-Zip the one PowerPoint and five movie clip files into a single folder.

4 Sep 2014The Maximum Brightness of Venus

Given as a member's talk after the break on the evening of Jim Al-Khalili's talk.

Download Paul's PowerPoint 2010 presentation file and Maths PDF here [PPTM: 14.3MB, Public] and here [PDF: 398KB, Public].

5 Sep 2014Radio Interview on BBC Radio Surrey

I was invited into the studio for an interview on Joe Talbot's 'Feeling Good Friday' programme.

The MP3 audio file (16:45 mins long) can be found here [MP3: 15.3MB, Public] (Left-click to play or Right-click, Save link As… to download) .

19 Mar 2015Radio Interview on BBC Radio Surrey

A pre-recorded interview broadcast on the BBC Surrey Drive at 5 programme the day before a partial eclipse of the Sun.

The MP3 audio file (5:52 mins long) can be found here [MP3: 5.37MB, Public] (Left-click to play or Right-click, Save link As… to download) .

5 Nov 2015Next Horizons?

Given as a member's talk after the break on the evening of Prof Christian Knigge's talk.

Download Paul's PowerPoint 2010 'Next Horizons?' presentation and 'The Relativistic Rocket' PDF files here [PPTX: 4.3MB, Public] and here [PDF: 253KB, Public].

7 Jan 2016Astronomy Basics


Download Paul's PowerPoint 2010 'Astronomy basics' presentation:

7 Apr 2016Thereby hangs a tail

Comets are fascinating remnants of the early solar system. Their orbits and their appearance are more varied and dynamic than any other solar system body.

Comet tails are one of the most spectacular aspects of a comet's appearance and this talk explains in more detail what comet tails are, why they appear the way they do and how they evolve during their orbit and over longer periods of time.

6 May 2021A Zoom Talk: The Megaconstellation Threat

The impact of satellite megaconstellations on amateur & professional astronomy

See Paul's presentation here