A 10-year-old Canadian girl will head back to school this month with a good case for some extra credit in science: She became the youngest person to discover a supernova during the holiday break. Kathryn Aurora Gray of Fredericton, New Brunswick, spotted the exploding star, dubbed supernova 2010lt, on Monday from an image taken on New Yearâ€™s Eve by a telescope belonging to amateur astronomer David Lane in Stillwater Lake, Nova Scotia. The exploding star is in the galaxy UGC 3378 in the constellation of Camelopardalis. The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) says Kathryn is the youngest person ever to discover a supernova.
If this sounds like fun to you – visit Galaxy Zoo and you could do this too!
Your task in this latest Galaxy Zoo project is to help us catch exploding stars â€“ supernovae. Data for the site is provided by an automatic survey in California, at the world-famous Palomar Observatory, and astronomers are ready to follow up on your best candidates at telescopes around the world.
Believe it or not humans are still better at picking out supernovae in photos than computers!