A science that changes the conception of the universe
” Astronomy is almost like a religion. »
In 1608, Hans Lippershey, a Dutch eyeglass maker, is said to have designed the first telescope.
This instrument will allow the study of the stars that surround the Earth and encourage their exploration by both scientists and amateurs of all ages.
From the 1950s, the invention of artificial satellites aroused a new enthusiasm for astronomy, as confirmed by a report by journalist Andréanne Lafont broadcast on the program Today of October 5, 1965.
The journalist went to meet members of an astronomy club made up of teachers and amateurs.
There are people of all ages who explain to Andréanne Lafond why they are so interested in astronomy.
When watching the report, you can see that many amateur astronomers build their own telescopes.
For many, it is a way to make the study of planets and stars even more economical.
But building your own instrument requires a lot of patience and perseverance.
Indeed, the manufacture of concave and convex lenses, essential to create the magnifying effect of a telescope, generally requires dozens of hours of polishing.
An astronomy camp in Charlevoix
The astronomy camp of Port-au-Saumon in the county of Charlevoix was founded in 1956 by the clerks of Saint-Viateur from the college of Rigaud.
Journalist Élizabeth Gagnon went there and prepared this report which was broadcast on the program Telejeans on October 7, 1978 and hosted by Jacques Lemieux.
She talks with several young astronomy enthusiasts who spend the summer at the Port-au-Saumon camp.
Some are interested in advanced astronomy questions such as the light spectrum of stars or planets or the movements of the Moon.
Élizabeth Gagnon asks these young students if they want to make the study of astronomy their profession when they are adults.
The interest exists, confirms one of the camp participants.
But job opportunities in this field are still limited, he adds, a little doubtful.
A passion that takes you far
On August 24, 2003, the broadcast From one to the other presents us with a portrait of René Breton.
Aged 23, the latter has been passionate about astronomy since he participated in scout camps.
His fervor became so great that he enrolled in the astrophysics department of Laval University.
Even more, he integrated astronomy into his volunteer work.
René Breton goes to schools, and to the Mont-Cosmos Observatory in Saint-Elzéar de Beauce, to popularize science.
Its goal is to explain as simply as possible the phenomena of the sky to young people.
The student also wants to pass on his knowledge to children, particularly those who show little interest in school.
He hopes to give them motivation to continue their studies.
His participation in numerous science fairs and volunteering enabled him, while René Breton had never traveled at the time, to go to Africa, France and Mexico.
René Breton did not believe that scientific volunteering was going to take such a big place in his life.
He probably didn’t know it at the time, but this action also prepared him well for his future professional career.
Today, René Breton is a professor of astrophysics at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom.