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Emily Baldwin

Deputy Editor and Website Editor, Astronomy Now

26 October 2009

My interest in astronomy began at a school open evening run by local astronomy societies – I got to look through telescopes at the Moon and Jupiter and its satellites, and I remember being wowed by how fast the satellites moved. And I won a signed copy of Patrick Moore's Universe for the Under Tens – I've been hooked ever since!

I did a fairly eclectic choice of A-Levels, and then found my dream degree, Planetary Science, at University College London (UCL). The course included practical observing sessions and geology field trips to the Reis impact crater in Germany and Mount Etna in Sicily. I stayed on to do a PhD in impact cratering.

During my PhD I got involved with the Society for Popular Astronomy (SPA). I became Editor of the Prime Space supplement. I set up an under 16s section called Young Stargazers. I also co-edited the Starlight newsletter - 120,000 copies were sent to school children during the International Year of Astronomy.

I realised my true passion was for science communication. I began writing short planetary science news stories for the Geological Society of London's magazine, and feature articles for Astronomy Now.

In 2008 I jumped at the chance to became Astronomy Now's Website Editor – now I get to write about everyone else's research, which keeps me up to date on an incredibly wide range of topics. In July 2009 I also took on the role of Deputy Editor which means I take care of some of the regular sections of the magazine. It's really exciting having so much input into the final product.

We also spend time working on special publications and organising the annual AstroFest conference. We've just put together the 2010 Yearbook, for which I was very privileged to interview the European Space Agency's new British astronaut Timothy Peake. I had also applied to be an astronaut (although I didn't get through the first round of applications) and he filled me in on the finer details of the selection process.

We attend national conferences, such as the Royal Astronomical Society's National Astronomy Meeting(NAM) - I'm pictured here with British-born NASA astronaut Michael Foale who we interviewed at NAM this year, viewable on our YouTube channel (AstroNow09).

A lot of the magazine articles are commissioned out, so our office of permanent staff is very small. In the editorial office there is the Editor (Keith Cooper), me, and our Night Sky Consultant (Mark Armstrong). In the subscriptions office we have Lexi and Heather. One day a month is spent proofing the whole magazine and we are joined by our Editorial Assistant Linda and Graphic Designer Steve, so it's a fairly even mix of men and women. A large majority of our subscribers and AstroFest attendees are male though!

Dr Emily Baldwin is Astronomy Now's Deputy Editor and Website Editor. She also runs the Young Stargazers section of the Society for Popular Astronomy and is a website moderator for the International Year of Astronomy project She is an Astronomer. Emily is also a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Societyand is giving an RAS public lecture "An Impact Cratering Tour of the Solar System" on 10 March 2010.

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