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The Best of Our Knowledge # 970

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wamc/local-wamc-828370.mp3

Albany, NY – INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF ASTRONOMY 2009
FOR SOME STUDENTS, THE SKY'S THE LIMIT:
14-YEAR OLD CAROLINE MOORE BECOMES YOUNGEST PERSON
TO EVER DISCOVER A SUPERNOVA -

The International Year of Astronomy is a global effort initiated by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and UNESCO. They hope people all over the world will rediscover their place in the universe, and engage in discovery and the wonder of the night-time sky.

And to prove astronomy has no age limits, 14-year old Caroline Moore was just named Young Astronomer of the Year. Caroline is the youngest person ever to discover a supernova.

According to the latest peer-reviewed literature set for publication this year, Caroline Moore's supernova is one of only eight of this type ever discovered, and is the most extreme example. The reports say her discovery holds great significance in how supernovae will be looked at and classified.

We invited her into our TBOOK studios to explain how she was able to accomplish this feat, describe reactions at her school, and let us know how this could possibly influence future academic and career decisions.

Glenn Busby reports. (13:07)

INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR WRAPS UP -

Not only is this the International Year of Astronomy, we're also wrapping up International Polar Year. What's it like to live and study at the ends of the earth?

Dr. Birgit Obermuller is a marine biologist studying with the British Antarctic Survey Team at their research station near the South Pole. It's isolated during the summer. They do have extra research staff and occasional visitors, passing engineers or pilots delivering supplies. But in the winter, with the base in permanent darkness, only a few core researchers remain.

Dr. Obermuller is part of the marine diving team researching microflora under the ice. She spoke with us via satellite phone about what it's like living in one of the most remote places on the planet.

Radio Netherland's, Marnie Chesterton reports. (2:40)

VOICES IN EDUCATION -

Since we've been talking on this show about the International Year of Astronomy and women in science, from our Voices in Education file, here's Dr. Janna Levin. A Professor of Astronomy & Physics and Barnard College. She describes the academic and professional career challenges she's faced.

Professor Janna Levin. (2:40)