Kathryn Aurora Gray, with the help of her father Paul and a family friend, was confirmed as the youngest person ever to discover a supernova on Monday, according to the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. The 10-year-old Fredericton, N.B. girl spotted the stellar explosion in Galaxy UGC 3378 on Sunday. It was created by the death of a massive star 240 million light years away. The Grays found the supernova, not by staring at the night sky, but by using computer software to look for differences between new and old
pictures taken by an advanced telescope in Halifax on New Year’s Eve. Paul Gray has found seven supernovas in total since 1995 when he was the youngest to discover one, at age 22. He had been unseated by a 14-year-old American girl last year.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011