Meet Our Website and Social Media Teams – Past and Present!


RICKY FORD ~ Special Features Author:

Ricky has been providing Jupiter Watch updates for Astronomy.FM’s Jovian Chronicles since May 2009. He is an avid amateur astronomer, who was drawn to the wonders of Space by such things as the original Star Trek series and the Apollo moon landings. (As a child, Ricky thought that he could use his 60mm department store telescope to see Apollo 8 circling the moon.) When his favorite target, Jupiter, is not visible, Ricky enjoys using remote imaging telescopes to split multi-star systems.


CRAIG LEVIN ~ Content Editor

Craig’s fascination with astronomy began when he was in high school, in the 80’s. He grew up in light-polluted Chicago, but his family spent time sailing on Lake Michigan, which enabled him to enjoy darker skies, learn some navigational skills, and even gain an appreciation for the history of the Age of Exploration. He enjoys observing with binoculars, which is good, as he lives in an apartment!


JOHN RICHARDS ~ Content Editor:

John Richards (aka @johnniemojo) works in the IT industry in Pontypridd, Wales, where he lives with his wife and two boys. As a teenager, he had a very strong interest in Astronomy, spaceflight, and all things ‘spacey’, but like for so many of us, those interests took a temporary backseat to the responsibilities of adult life.

John’s passion was re-awakened, however, when he witnessed the final launch of NASA’s Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-133) in February 2011, from the NASA Causeway (about 6-miles from the launchpad) at the Kennedy Space Center. In John’s words, “That experience BLEW ME AWAY.”

Since then, John has attended the first European Space Agency (ESA) tweetup in Cologne, had a picture published in an astronomical magazine, and has written articles for a local astronomical society. He also tweets about spaceflight, rocketry, and astronomy, and has started an astronomy-themed blog. All in 10 months in 2011.

Now, going into 2012, John has joined the Astronomy.FM team, contributing as both a Twitter Manager and a Website Editor. Over the next few months, he hopes to impart some useful information to, and share in some interesting conversations with, the Astronomy.FM audience and beyond.

You can see some of John’s night sky images on Flickr.




Like many of the AFM team, Bill was raised in the era of Apollo, when our televisions brought moon landings, Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, and the great David Attenborough into our homes  – and the ‘possibility of anything’ into our hearts. Throughout that period, Bill also enjoyed chemistry and computers. He spent many hours with crystal experiments (back when you could buy just about any chemical from a local supplier) and even built his own computer- an 8052 BASIC-52 computer/controller from a design in BYTE Magazine. But it was Bill’s first sight of the rings of Saturn, through an 8″ reflector telescope that he built with his father, that firmly cemented his passion for the wonders of the Universe. Bill describes that moment so perfectly: “A tremendous feeling overwhelmed me, I felt my whole body, my whole being was drawn through that tiny lens into the vastness of space, the solar system, the galaxy and beyond.”

Today, Bill continues to explore the Universe through a growing network of resources, including the many publications available online. One of his favorite documentaries is from the BBC’s Horizon series – a 1981 interview with Richard Feynman, titled The Pleasure of Finding Things Out. He also plans to rebuild that 8″ reflector of his youth, currently stored in the garage of his mother’s home, as a documented project involving the participation of neighborhood children.



John James (aka @BTSunboxed) joined the AFM team as our Klout and Empire Manager in January 2012. He has a great passion for the stars, Space, science, and learning how new technologies may enrich our lives. Previously, John assisted in promoting the BTS-1 mission, which featured @Camilla_SDO, @AstroFuzz, and @Skye_Blue as science ambassadors aboard a high-flying weather balloon.



Paul (aka @HonorarySpock) joined the AFM team in February 2010. In addition to serving on the Facebook Team, Paul is also an AFM SkyGuide and a member of the AFM Board of Trustees.

Although Paul considers himself primarily an observer, friend and fellow SkyGuide, Richie Jarvis, has recently introduced him to the “darker path” of astrophotography. Paul has been interested in astronomy since the Moon landing in 1969, when his parents allowed him to watch it at 4am in the morning. In 1997, he joined the Croydon Astronomical Society and within the first year became the outreach secretary, a position he has since held. Croydon AS has an observatory at RAF Kenley, which is regularly open to the public. For the last 6 years, Paul also served as chairman,  until stepping down in 2011.

You can communicate with Paul via email, through his personal Twitter account, or by posting a message on the AFM Facebook page.


John Moran, who joined the AFM Team in February 2012, lives in Lincolnshire, England, with his wife and three children. Although he is a latecomer to astronomy, John always had an interest in Space as a child. It was seeing Saturn through a friend’s spotter scope that really ignited his passion for astronomy. He has been hooked ever since, subsequently becoming a member of Lincoln Astronomical Society and even selling his music equipment to buy a telescope! John’s main astronomy interests are Space missions, planetary observing, webcam astrophotography, and astrophysics.


Marleen is an AFM SkyGuide, a member of AFM’s Board of Trustees, and one of our Facebook Managers. Marleen also served as Astronomy.FM’s first President and has been hosting internet astronomy radio since 2006 (she is one of the original Deep Sky Divas!) She is also very active in her regional astronomy community.


Misty Dawn, aka ShadeTree Philosopher and OceanStorm, joined the AFM Team September 2017 as our Social Mediaist to oversee the Astronomy.FM Twitter and Facebook accounts. She is a blogger and digital media specialist whose passions and projects include Space (of course!), Anime Blues Con, Cosplay, and Japanese culture.