10-year-old young lady becomes most youthful to discover supernova

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Offline aserniaL

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A supernova was discovered by a 10-year-old young lady in Canada, the most youthful individual ever to detect the occurrence of an exploding star. Working from her Fredericton, New Brunswick home, Kathryn Aurora Gray made her detection with her father's help January 2. Supernova explosions are uncommon cosmic events which are considered a feather within the cap of probably the most knowledgeable astronomers. This girl may have a great future and not need to take out any personal loans for college if she continues this path.

Discovery of supernova happens

The supernova scanning images were taken by Kathryn Aurora Gray on New Yearís Eve. She was using her fatherís telescope to do it. Astronomers detect supernovas using a computer program that compares images of a portion of sky with previously taken images of the same area. When a supernova explodes, the bright flash outshines the surrounding stars, appearing up on a subsequent image where it didn't before. The night sky images that Kathryn took were amazing. She was right next to Abbey Ridge Observatory when it happened. The supernova was discovered in a galaxy called UGC 3378 about 240 million light years from Earth.

Discovering the perfect discovery

The discoveries made by Kathryn came early in her career. Most astronomers donít make these discoveries so quickly. After learning that the youngest person who ever found a supernova was a 14 year old, she decided she wanted to study too which she's been doing for about a year. After finding the star, Kathryn decided to share the credit with her father. Her father is Paul Gray who found six supernovas in the past already.

Supernova is near

The chemical elements are blasted by supernovas into space and ultimately hit other planets which are why astronomers study supernovas. Kathryn's supernova exploded 240 million years ago. As far as we have found, the last supernova in the Milky Way galaxy to explode was 140 years ago. Thatís a long time. Remnants of an explosion were found by the Chandra X-Ray Observatory which is an orbiting telescope although nobody on Earth observed it. One more supernova explosion happened in 1680 within the Milky way. That was the last known one.




Christian Science Monitor


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« Last Edit: 09/03/2011 11:10:53 by BenV »