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Who says age is a barrier when it comes to discovery of SuperNova? Story broke out today that a 10-year-old Kathryn Gray made a record-breaking find when she discovered a supernova effectively becoming the youngest discoverer ever. The Canadian schoolgirl stumbled on her find while scanning through astronomical images on January 2nd.
The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada recognized Kathryn as the youngest discoverer of a supernova. The supernova happened far away in the galaxy called UGC 3378 in the constellation of Camelopardalis. This galaxy is about 240 million light-years distant. From the pictures astronomers measured its brightness to be of magnitude 17. To put things in perspective, magnitude 17 is the approximate brightness of the dwarf planet Haumea as seen from Earth.
Kathryn was assisted by her amateur astronomer father Paul Gray. She was taught by him on how to look out for transient flashes using a computer program that compares old and new images of the same part of the space. Her father said in an interview that Kathryn was determined to become the youngest person to make a Supernova discovery.
Kathryn told in an interview, “I’m really excited. It feels really good”. The previous record for supernova was held by a 14-year-old. The supernova called the SN 2010LT was observed by Dave Lane near Halifax, Canada who emailed those images to Paul Gray for analysis. Kathryn was 4 photos into a planned 52 photo analysis session when she made the find.
Read more here.