In a remarkable recognition, 40 individuals from the Saanich Peninsula, British Columbia, have been honored by having asteroids named after them.
This unique tribute was organized by the International Astronomy Union. Among the honorees is Chris Gainor, a historian and past president of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, known for his contributions to the history of astronomy and space flight. Gainor’s namesake asteroid, designated 20041 Gainor, is located in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
Another notable recipient is Lauri Roche, a member of the Royal Astronomical Society Victoria Centre and the board of directors for the Friends of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory. Roche has been instrumental in bringing space education to programs and classrooms on Vancouver Island for many years. Her asteroid, named 20035 Lauriroche, is described as being smaller than the distance between Brentwood Bay and Central Saanich, also situated in the main asteroid belt.
The naming of these asteroids not only honors the contributions of these individuals to the field of astronomy but also connects the Saanich Peninsula community to the vastness of space. Although the asteroids are located on the other side of the sun and are quite dim, it is possible to spot them with high-powered telescopes.
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