There is no age restriction on the chance to make a significant contribution to our understanding of the universe. Caroline Moore, a 14-year-old from Warwick, NY, has made such a mark on astronomy with the discovery of Supernova 2008ha. Not only is she the youngest person to discover a supernova, but this particular supernova has been identified as a different type of stellar explosion.
To borrow one of her favorite words, what's really "cool" about Caroline Moore isn't that she's the youngest person to ever discover a supernova (and an incredibly rare one at that). What's really cool about Caroline is that she discovered that supernova... and she's such a teenager -- a smart, self-aware, funny teenager who's living a real-world double life way cooler than Hannah Montana's:
"Well, at school, I'm an average student. I'm doing after-school activities just like everyone else, hanging out with my friends on the weekends. I ski and do plenty of normal kid things. And then on other days, after the school doors close, I'm doing a phone interview for NPR. Or I'm coming down here to New York--I just came from school, came right down here [to the SLoS studios] to do this interview with you. So, I'm living both styles of life. In just a couple weeks, I have my sophomore formal. And then immediately after that formal dance, I have to leave to go up to Boston to receive an award. So, I'm living both lives at this point. And I'm enjoying it."
Read more about it [thanks NOVA/PBS for emailing link!]
What a wonderful perspective she has. She already knows about living in the moment.