A 10-year-old Canadian girl named Kathryn Aurora Gray has discovered an exploding supernova in a galaxy 240 million light-years away. Using photos taken on New Year’s Eve and the day after New Year’s, Gray, whose father is astronomer Paul Gray, identified the supernova by finding a burst of light where there had been no light before, in Galaxy UGC 3378.
Gray, who made the discovery under the watch of her father and astronomer David Lane, is the youngest person ever to discover a supernova, according to the Royal Astronomy Society of Canada. [pdf]
Kathryn Aurora Gray, Paul Gray, and I are pleased to report that we have discovered a supernova (mag ~17) in UGC 3378 (a magnitude 15 galaxy in the constellation of Camelopardalis), as reported on IAU Electronic Telegram 2618.
It was imaged in early evening on New Year’s Eve in 2010 and discovered on January 2, 2011 by Kathryn Aurora Gray (age 10) and Paul Gray (located in Birdton, NB).
It was verified shortly after dark later that day by Illinois-based amateur astronomer Brian Tieman and Arizona-based Canadian amateur astronomer Jack Newton. It was then reported to the IAU’s Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams.
(via Universe Today)