A nine-year-old Spanish boy, Diego Fernández Ortiz, has discovered from Moscow a supernova in the constellation of the Flying Fish, also known as Volans, with the help of images captured by the Australian telescope T31. The precocious amateur astronomer became the youngest discoverer of a supernova, a finding in which he had as coauthors the Russian schoolchildren Kiril Iónov, Ivaán Spásich and Denis Vdovin, aged 13, 12 and 14, respectively, all of them members of an astronomical circle of the Moscow educational center Na Donskói.
Nothing seemed to indicate that Saturday, December 1 would be special for the astronomical circle led by Denis Denisenko, who on that day instructed his pupils to examine a sector of the sky of the constellation of the Flying Fish. It was then that Diego, a native of Cieza (Murcia), noticed that there was a bright spot that did not appear in the previous images and immediately the checks began. What if: had discovered a supernova of magnitude 17.1, which received the name PSN-DNTTM and was registered in the catalog as 2018jgq.
His father, Antonio Fernández, official of the Consulate of Spain in Moscow, learned of the discovery only when he went to look for it at the school, since Diego, unlike almost all the boys of his age, does not have a mobile phone. "Dad I discovered a supernova"He told me excitedly, but his tutor was even more so, "he tells Antonio in a conversation with Efe, in which Diego is the main protagonist, and with great seriousness, the boy tells that he became interested in astronomy when he was three years old. He saw with his father a documentary about the science that studies the celestial bodies of the universe.
"When I was six years old, I saw a documentary on quantum physics and another on quantum mechanics, I liked them a lot, three years ago I went to the astronomy classes that I'm going to now, and I've discovered a supernova.", narrates Diego, the second of three brothers. The day of the discovery, Diego at first doubted his discovery. "Sometimes it happens to me that I see that some star changes luminosity, but then it turns out that it is only because of the type of image". "But when we checked it, we saw that it had not been discovered," he says proudly, adding that he saw the supernova "only a few seconds earlier" than his tutor.
When asked about what he wants to be when he grows up, Diego, who deals with the names of galaxies and constellations like most kids of his age do with the stars, but of his favorite football clubs, he does not hesitate a moment : "Astronomer". But Diego lives not only in astronomy, since he also dedicates himself to music, studies cello and sings in a choir. The future astronomer, in addition to Spanish, speaks perfect Russian and English, and uses the Internet only as a reference tool.
"I also like math, biology, robotics, geology and ... cartoons"says Diego, who prefers tennis among sports. After his discovery, which has been echoed by Russian media, including television, he has become the most popular student at the school. "In school everyone knows me, from the first grade boys to the eleventh"says Diego, who has been asked by the students of the higher grades to give them an astronomy conference. He admits that his colleagues' interest in astronomy skyrocketed after they saw a video of the Russian television news about the discovery of the supernova. EFE