Biography

Paul was born in Southampton, England in August 1946.  His passion for astronomy developed from avid reading of science fiction stories, and his mother will tell you that SF books were almost all he read when he was younger.  His father bought him a telescope when he was about 12 years old, and when they set it up in the back garden that was the first time he ever saw the moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn.  The telescope wasn't too special, being only a 2 inch refractor, but from the moment he saw the rings of Saturn he was hooked on the stars.  But life sometimes doesn't let you do all the things you would like, and it turned out that Paul was destined to have a busy career with a lot of travel, not conducive to telescopes and observing.

Paul graduated with a BSc degree in chemistry in 1970 and embarked on a career in the chemical industry, working mostly in sales, which involved a lot of travelling throughout the UK and western Europe.  In 1981 he first entered the oil business, and his jobs in that industry meant periods living and working in Russia, Germany and America.  He spent four years living in Russia, travelling to interesting places like Siberia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, and then two years in Ludwigshafen, Germany.  The travelling and long working hours left little time or stability for astronomy, but in 1998, he and wife, Liz were moved to Houston, Texas by the company and they decided that the time had come to get back into the hobby in earnest.  Liz decided that, as the choice seemed to be between a Harley-Davidson motorcycle or a telescope, and as astronomy would take them to dark, distant places there was really no contest.  They bought a 14 inch Celestron Schmidt Cassegrain telescope and a Losmandy G-11 mount, Paul started to re-acquaint himself with the sky and Liz began to learn all about it.  Astronomy proved quite easy in Houston, because there are several excellent astronomy clubs there, and they soon joined the Fort Bend Club, which runs the telescopes at the George Observatory in south west Houston.  At the same time they were able to participate in the start-up of a new astronomy club in north Houston, sponsored by one of the many excellent colleges in the area, and for two years Paul was President of this club.  The club has over 100 members and through this and a number of part-time teaching assignments they have learned that the teaching of astronomy can be just as much fun as the practical side.  In February 2007 Paul was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in London, UK, and his astronomy images have been widely published, including most recently a splendid new publication by Willman-Bell in which 50 of his Arp Galaxy images were featured.  The Earthlings have bought and sold a lot of equipment since starting, and a complete list can be found on the Equipment section of this website.

Elizabeth, usually known as Liz was born in Derby, England and had lived there for most of her early life.  She has travelled with Paul in Russia and numerous European countries and has greatly enjoyed learning about the different peoples they have met in their travels.  Liz spent time while they were living in Texas training to be a reflexologist and caring for people's health through their feet.  She qualified in April 2001, and since moving back to Europe has been both practicing and teaching reflexology.  She also became qualified as a nutrition therapist in 2008 and has added that consultative therapy to her list of skills.  Liz is a keen observational astronomer and prefers to use her eyes to browse the skies while Paul takes the astronomical images which you will see on this site.  They both enjoy the thrill of seeing detail in faint objects via the CCD camera which they would otherwise never see with their unaided eyes.  Since moving back to England in July 2004, Liz and Paul have lived in a lovely house, located on the edge of a small village in the Peak District of Derbyshire.  Although moving back has allowed them to pick up on the rural side of life, which they admit to having missed, they realised that they didn't miss the English clouds and rain!  But they did miss the long walks in green hills and being able to drink proper beer, two things which they have managed to catch up on since returning!  To counter the clouds and rain, in 2003 they bought a lovely old Spanish farmhouse in 3 acres of ground and have converted it into a second home and observatory which is used for their astronomy.  The telescopes have now been moved from the gloom of England to the clear skies, sunshine and warmth of southern Spain, where the story continues...... 

For some photos of the Earthlings click here