Source
Scholastic News Online

Scholastic News Online is a free resource with breaking news and highlights from the print magazine.

Available for grades 1-6, Scholastic News magazine brings high-interest current events and nonfiction to millions of classrooms each week.

Additionally, our subscribers have FREE access to Scholastic News Interactive, an exclusive online learning tool featuring digital editions, videos, interactive features, differentiated articles, and much more.


Multi-colored supernova gases Supernovas are brilliant balls of energy and light caused when stars explode. This photo rendering shows different hot gases left over from a supernova explosion. (NASA)

10-Year-Old Discovers Supernova

Canadian student becomes the youngest person to ever find an exploding star

By Larry Schwartz | January 10 , 2011
<br />Kathryn with her father's telescope.<br /><br />(David Smith / Canadian Press / AP Images)

Kathryn with her father's telescope.

(David Smith / Canadian Press / AP Images)

Not every 10-year-old can tell their classmates they discovered a supernova. But Kathryn Aurora Gray can!

The junior astronomer from New Brunswick, Canada, is the youngest person ever to discover a supernova.

"A supernova is a star that is blowing up," Kathryn explains. When a star runs out of fuel, it explodes into a massive ball of energy and light called a supernova. The explosion can last for several weeks. "Eventually, it will fade away," she says.

A FAMILY TRADITION

Kathryn has been looking up at the sky all her life. She and her dad are both amateur astronomers.

A few months ago, Kathyn's father Paul told her about Caroline Moore, a teenager from New York who found a supernova in 2008. President Obama was so impressed by Caroline's discovery that he invited her to visit the White House.

"If a 14-year-old can do it, I can do it," Kathryn told her dad.

SPOTTING STARS

Last week, Kathryn and her dad looked at photos their neighbor David Lane had taken. Lane is a fellow stargazer who owns the nearby Abbey Ridge Observatory.

He used a special telescope at the observatory to take pictures of the Camelopardalis constellation (a group of stars that people say look like something else, usually an animal or a famous person). Camelopardalis is the ancient Roman name for giraffe, which the stars look like from Earth.

Kathryn pointed out a very bright light in the constellation. Could it be a supernova? The team reported their discovery to the International Astronomical Union. They confirmed that Kathryn was the first person to spot SN 2010It.

Many people spend their lives hoping to discover a supernova. But Kathryn found one on her first try. "I was very excited to find one. Especially this quick," Kathryn says. "I hope to keep finding more supernovas."

Still, Kathryn has a little way to go to catch up to her dad. Her father has discovered seven supernovas!

KID REPORTER COVERAGE: Andrew Liang interviews Kathryn about her discovery.

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    You Wouldn't Want to Sail on the Titanic!

    You Wouldn't Want to Sail on the Titanic!

    by David Stewart and David Antram

    From the drawing board to the ocean floor, captain to crew, wealthiest to poorest, the Titanic's history is revealed. "Heavily illustrated, colorful, and far from dull."—SLJ

    $5.96 You save: 25%
    Paperback Book | Grades 4-6
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    You Wouldn't Want to Sail on the Titanic!
    Grades 4-6 $5.96
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Children of the Dust Bowl

    Children of the Dust Bowl

    by Jerry Stanley

    Told in the words of migrants and illustrated with period photographs, this is the story of the "Okie" migration to California of the 1930’s and of a remarkable school at a farm workers’ camp there, where prejudice is transformed into acceptance and despair into hope. "Splendidly inspiring."—Kirkus

    $4.46 You save: 25%
    Paperback Book | Grades 5-7
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Children of the Dust Bowl
    Grades 5-7 $4.46
    Add To Cart
Privacy Policy
EMAIL THIS

* YOUR FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S EMAIL ADDRESS

MESSAGE
Here's something interesting from Scholastic.com