Candidate Profile

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Astronomy & Space Science
Howard Parkin BSc FRAS has been an astronomer and space enthusiast most of his life. His interest in was inspired by the first astronauts and the "Space Race" back in the early 60's, and he has been an avid astronomer and space enthusiast ever since.

Howard was born in 1953, holder of a Teachers Certificate, a BSc in astronomy and Earth sciences and the Executive Certificate of Management. Howard has been teaching Astronomy and Astronautics to adult education classes since 1985. He is currently chairman and is a founder member of the IOM Astronomical Society, and a member of the British Astronomical Association. In recognition of his work in education and outreach Howard was proposed and elected as a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in July 2013

Prior to retirement in December 2012 Howard was employed as a Civil Servant in the IOM Government, at Manx National Heritage, with responsibility for maintaining the public interface at the heritage sites throughout the Island. His interest in Astronomy became part of his duties with Manx National Heritage, and he regularly gives public lectures on various aspects of the subject at the Manx Museum in Douglas. In 2009 Howard hosted a unique and special event when Manx National Heritage held a live link with the International Space Station speaking with US astronaut Nicole Stott, a short version of this link up can be found on his website at

In 2013, Howard established an astronomy consultancy and promotions company AstroManx, and through his work he was the main driver into obtaining Dark skies discovery Status, for the Isle of Man, for initially seven sites in 2011, and subsequently nineteen further Dark sky discovery sites in 2014. Formally making the IOM now being recognised as one of the best places to stargaze in the British Isles. This work is ongoing, and Howard is now hoping to have the Island officially acknowledged as a Dark Skies Nation through the International Dark Skies Authority.

For many years Howard has started giving talks and lectures on the subject to various audiences, in the IOM, UK and also in the USA, Middle east, South Africa and Norway.

In December 2013, Howard appeared on the BBC Songs of Praise programme talking about the Star of Bethlehem. He has featured on local TV news programmes and also undertakes a monthly astronomy programme on Manx Radio, the Isle of Manís national broadcaster.

I have recently updated my lectures to include two new ones, entitled "Mr Hubble and his amazing telescope" and "We are made of Stardust" an introduction to Cosmology I have updated my talks to include the recent Rosetta, Dawn and New horizons missions. My former SETI lecture is now re titled "The search for life in the Universe" and has been updated to include the exciting rdiscovery of ex-solar planets from the Kepler mission

My lectures cover all aspects of astronomy and the history of spaceflight and they include video and audio clips illustrating important dates or concepts. They also include as applicable references to historical and observational features relevant to the date and location of the lecture.

I am particullarly keen to continue developing the concept of an informal astronomy and space club whilst on board.This would allow stargazing and/or an informal chat about the subject, depending on weather conditions

- Exploring the Solar system, from Plato to Pluto
- The history of manned spaceflight
- "We are made of stardust!" an introduction to Cosmology
- Exploring Mars, by observations and by spacecraft
- Mr Hubble and his amazing telescope
- Visitors from space, Comets, meteors & meteorites
- The Aurora, when, where and how to see
- The Constellations, Myths, legends and observations
- The Space race from Sputnik to Tranquillity base
- Living in Space, The shuttle and ISS era
- The search for life in the universe
- Eclipses: current, future and past, as seen throughout the world
- Crossing the Sun, Transits through the ages
- The Star of Bethlehem, just what was it?

All lecture will include updates appertaining the topic, if necessary during the duration of the particular voyage

I have an extensive library of lectures that have been developed over 30 years of lecturing and would be delighted to cover any aspect of the subject upon request on board
No additional cruise experience details provided.
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The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
Viking Orion OR190505 North Pacific Passage 22 Tokyo Sunday, May 5, 2019
Viking Orion OR190421 Far Eastern Horizons 14 Hong Kong Sunday, April 21, 2019
Viking Jupiter JU190223 Iconic Western Mediterranean 7 Civitavecchia (for Rome) Saturday, February 23, 2019
Viking Jupiter JU190216 Journey to Antiquities 7 Piraeus (Athens) Saturday, February 16, 2019
Viking Sky SK180414 Trade Routes of the Middle Ages 14 Barcelona Saturday, April 14, 2018
Viking Sky SK171029 Around the Caribbean Sea 14 New York Sunday, October 29, 2017
Viking Sky SK171017 Eastern Seaboard Explorer 12 Montreal Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Viking Star ST170225 West Indies to Iberia 14 San Juan Saturday, February 25, 2017
Saga Pearl 11 P2165 Grand Caribbean Adventure 42 Southampton Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Viking Sea SE161004 Mediterranean Odyssey 12 Venice Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Black Watch W1602 Around the World 116 Southampton Friday, January 8, 2016
Queen Victoria V521 Western Mediterranean Cruise 14 Civitavecchia (for Rome) Saturday, September 12, 2015