Sunday, November 23, 2008


Very cool:

Moore, a ninth-grader at Warwick Valley High, is believed to be the youngest person to identify a supernova, which is a little more impressive than your ability to find the Big and Little dippers on a clear summer night.

Moore can take astronomy next year, but she should probably teach it. "Maybe when I was four I realized there are things out there you have to explore or you're missing out," she said, surrounded by most of the 10 telescopes she keeps in her
backyard observatory. "I feel like I'm making a difference in the scientific community. That's really special."

Moore found her supernova as part of a research team led by Tim Puckett in Atlanta. Puckett has 28 people in five countries looking for subtle changes in images of the night sky taken by his telescopes. She started looking with her father, Robert, in April and spotted a dying star in September. The find has been confirmed by the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams at Harvard, which named it the very uninspiring UGC 12682. Still, her dad's over the moon about it. He bought Caroline her first scope four years ago and built the observatory with a retractable roof.

Oh, man. I can barely hang a coat hook and this guy's building an observatory for his daughter. More cool stuff here, and if you're an über-astro-geek the particulars from Caltech are here.

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