Amateur Utah astronomer gets credit for discovering supernova


POSTED: Monday, February 10, 2014 - 9:00pm

UPDATED: Monday, February 10, 2014 - 9:04pm

Utah's best-known space buff has won official credit for discovering a supernova.

Although they aren't especially rare - dozens are spotted each year - it is unusual for an amateur to find one.

And that's partly due to Patrick Wiggin's unusual lifestyle.

He gets ready for bed about dawn.

And for the rest of the day, it's pretty much "lights out."

His home in Stansbury Park has a retractable roof, which usually stays closed in the daytime to protect his telescope. He said it cost about as much as his first mortgage, but it's much smaller than professional scopes that bag the most distant finds in space.

"Occasionally we do luck out and do the discovery," Wiggins said.

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