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Amateur astronomer discovers new comet

The Story

For the amateur astronomer, patience is truly a virtue, and sometimes that patience eventually pays off. For Vance Petriew it came while taking just another couple of hours on the early morning of Aug. 18, 2001, to point his telescope toward the crab nebula. This time, by chance, he discoveres a comet. In this report from CBC News, we meet Vance Petriew and hear how finding a new comet rewarded his diligent gaze.

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: Aug. 21, 2001
Guest(s): Rick Huziak, Vance Petriew, Stan Shadick
Anchor: Alison Smith
Reporter: Jo Lynn Sheane
Duration: 2:26

Did You know?

• Vance Petriew was born in Regina. In 2009 he was the president of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Regina Centre. It is one of 29 centres across Canada whose members include amateur and professional astronomers as well as educators. 


• The crab nebula contains celestial remnants of a supernova, or a star that has imploded. Its mixture of interstellar dust particles, hydrogen gas, helium gas and plasma make it an interesting and important subject of study to learn about the formation of planets and stars.  


• Rick Huziak was born in Yorkton, Sask., in 1957. He was president of the Saskatoon chapter of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada for six years. In 2007, he was given an environmental award for his work in reducing light pollution and energy conservation in Saskatchewan.




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