These two children show us that beyond the accumulation of knowledge, great discoveries are born from innocence and curiosity.
Young Agents of Change have their eyes set on the Cosmos /
‘I wonder whether the stars are set alight in heaven so that one day each one of us may find his own again.’
The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
For thousands of years, the study of celestial objects, one of the most ancient sciences, has captured humanity’s nights and days. The fascination with which man has observed the stars now encompasses a huge aspect of our collective imagery, represented in literature, art and naturally, science. From prehistoric times and to this day, the desire to understand what lies beyond our atmosphere has led us to perfect the way we observe the universe.
Due to the latter, and because of the development of new technologies, we can precisely calculate the distance between stars, their age and their behaviour; we have visited the moon, sent robots to Mars, and recorded playful videos in space. Our understanding of the stars has evolved enormously, to the degree that now, through platforms like Planet Hunters, users can employ tools provided by NASA from the comfort of their homes, allowing them to discover new planets and stars.
One of the most outstanding cases featuring amateur astronomers is Canadian-born Nathan Gray. With only ten years of age, this boy recently discovered a supernova while he was studying some of the astronomical images captured by Dave Lane in the Abbey Ridge Observatory in Canada. Scholars have now confirmed the new discovery and estimate that the star is roughly around 600 million years old.
While Nathan is currently the youngest supernova discoverer on Earth, his sister Kathryn holds the second place, by thirty-three days only. The discoveries made by these two children remind us that by playing we can discover new worlds and that occasionally, the innocence of a child can enable them to discover things that were indiscernible to computers and experts in the field. These two star hunters prove that ‘the seriousness possessed by a child at play’, can guide us down the fortunate path of evolution.
Agents of Change are capable of transcending their age and set themselves apart because of their dedication, a desire to improve the future and because they possess an undefeatable spirit. Nathan’s curiosity knows no limits: ‘I’m excited because I’ve found something, and perhaps I can find more.’Tagged: cosmos, space exploration, children, learning, Agents of Change