Lifetime Achievement Award

of the International Occultation Timing Association


Roger Venable

Roger Venable 2021 Lifetime Achievement



Roger has observed asteroidal occultations for 33 years, including over 100 multi-station deployments. He has obtained good data on 306 different asteroidal occultation events. In these 306, he has set up 572 stations that obtained good data (positive or negative data for an occultation).

Of the 572 stations, 31 were visual (in the old days), and 541 video. In addition to the 572 good-data stations, he has set up 199 stations that failed to record good data. The total asteroidal occultation observing stations he has set up is thus 771. The events that he suspects are the most important are positives on Arrokoth, Phaethon, and Apophis, and 4-hit events on Kleopatra and Antiope. Most of these observations have been hampered by the cloudy and hazy skies of the southeastern U.S. Roger authored Chapter 10 of the IOTA manual, “Unattended Video Stations”, refining the drift-thru technique.

He has also been a pioneer in improving occultations by using larger telescopes. He made especially long trips for near-Earth asteroids during the last two years, helping nail down first the orbit of Phaethon. He did the same for the smaller and more threatening Apophis, verifying its orbit by recording occultations on March 22 and April 4, 2021 from multiple stations – adding orbital precision that shows that Apophis will miss the Earth during its several close approaches for at least the next 100 years.

He also drove 2,647 miles (4,240 km) for the May 2012 annular eclipse in California (Georgia to California)!

Roger is also very active in ALPO and is the long time Mars section coordinator.

Roger is a retired physician, having practiced family medicine and emergency medicine for 43 years.