My name is Keith Venables. I live in Surrey, UK.

My interest in astronomy started at school (Eltham College), and I later took a degree in Astrophysics (Sussex University).

Then I started an engineering job in industry, got married (to Jan), and that was me kind of busy for the next 20+ years. When the children (Mel & Andy) left home I had more time and was amazed to find how much amateur telescopes and equipment had advanced. Plus now with some engineering skills I have really enjoyed building and using telescopes. The Camberley Observatory is my biggest project to date.  

In 2000 I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

One of the things we like best about our house is the garden lined with mature trees. These trees obscure a good part of the sky, but most of it is tainted orange by street lighting anyway. There are two solutions, one - look straight up at whatever happens to be passing, and the other is to travel to dark sky sights. Combine this with my love of travelling and you see why I go to so many star parties. 

I have clocked up 20 consecutive years attending the Texas Star Party where in recent years I have led their Amateur Telescope Making program. Some how along those 20 years I got hooked on Mustangs, renting one each year and making the trip a bit of a holiday road trip. Longest drive was Washington DC to the Star Party, about 2000 miles! When RHD Mustangs were available here I jumped at the chance to own one. It can now be often spotted at UK star parties full to the roof lining with camping gear and my 18” dobsonian.

The cost in money and carbon of attending the US star parties cannot now be justified and so I now take my scope to as many UK star parties as I can.

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© AstroKeith 2022