10-Year Old Girl Discovers Supernova

I’m sorry, but how cool is this? Ten-year-old Kathryn Gray from Canada has just become a world-renowned astronomer. How? She became the youngest person ever to discover an exploding star, otherwise known as a supernova.

Supernovas are relatively rare events – according to the website Space.com, on average, a supernova will occur about once every 50 years in a galaxy the size of the Milky Way. When a supernova is burning, its brilliance can outshine entire galaxies and radiate more energy than our sun will in its entire lifetime.

The only way to discovery a supernova is to go through old images of star fields and compare them to new pictures, which is exactly what Kathryn was doing when she studied a bunch of images that had been sent to her father, an amateur astronomer.

When Kathryn spotted the supernova, she showed it to her father, who worked with her to rule out other possibilities, such as an asteroid or a supernova that had already been discovered. But Kathryn’s discovery was new – she found a supernova that happened in a galaxy more than 240 million light years away.

Congratulations, Kathryn!

Leave a Comment