Yeah, so, what did you do over your holiday break? If you’re like us, you survived mainly on videos of kittens and antipathy. But if you’re like 10-year-old Canadian Kathryn Aurora Gray, you became the youngest person ever to discover a supernova. (If you’re like us, you wouldn’t know a supernova from that pattern on the inside of your eyelids when you close them really tight to prevent the spins. But really, a supernova is a celestial phenomenon involving the explosion of most of the material in a star.) So, yeah.
Maybe it’s the middle name “Aurora,” or the fact that her dad is an amateur astronomer, or both, but Gray had apparently been set for about a year on finding a supernova and beating out her next-oldest rival, a 14-year-old. “I was very excited to find one. Especially this quick,” she said.
She shares credit for the accomplishment with another amateur astronomer, David Lane, who took the image from which she identified supernova 2010lt with his telescope on New Year’s Eve.
Meanwhile, this guy can’t even say “astronomer.”
Well, anyway, there are plenty of supernovas to go around.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 4, 2011