Space is not the final frontier for amateur astronomer Peter
Peter Struve, who founded Swindon Stargazers
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A DESCENDANT of a Russian Tsar's
court astronomer continues the family tradition in his
Swindon back garden.
Peter Struve, 57, is founder and chairman of Swindon Stargazers, a thriving group of local astronomers whose website is used as a teaching resource in schools as distant as California and Ohio.
On the home page he
writes: "Buried deep within the psyche of mankind is a desire to reach out and touch the heavens.
To seek knowledge and understanding of whom and what we are, of where we are going and from where we have come.
"It is the voice from deep within and its name is CURIOSITY.
It drives us forward on an unending journey of discovery to explore and experience this amazing universe of which we are truly a part."
Peter has been a devoted astronomer since he was eight years old.
"My grandparents bought me a telescope for my birthday," he
"A little one.
wasn't the first person in his
family to cast his
eyes to the heavens; he
comes from a dynasty of astronomers.
read every astronomy book he
could lay his
hands on after that first sight of Saturn, and at 14 was given a much bigger telescope with a four-inch lens.
These days he
uses an even more powerful one.
"I have been fortunate to have been born in a period covering most of the space race, from Sputnik to the Shuttle and Curiosity," he
Watching the Apollo 11 Moon landing on a flickering black and white television in 1969 is a cherished memory.
Peter pursued his passion through a career as an RAF air frame technician, a stint as a gravedigger and years working as an archaeological excavator for Cotswold Archaeological Trust.
is now medically retired.
In 1986 he graduated from the Open University with a general science degree including physics, nuclear physics, Quantum theory, chemistry, biology and earth sciences.
He lives in Park South with wife Carol, a special needs teaching assistant, and the couple have four children and two grandchildren.
Peter founded Swindon Stargazers in 2009.
writes on the homepage: "For every fibre of our being, every molecule, every atom where forged in the furnace of every star that shines in the velvet blackness of a darkened sky.