GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4)– Logan Turner is a leader in astrophysics at the University of Northern Colorado. She’s also a recipient of CBS4 and Colorado School of Mines’ Future Leaders Award.

CBS4’s Lauren Whitney gave her the award in December 2017, it comes with $1,000 and a profile on CBS4.

The senior at Frederick High School speaks about astrophysics like a professional.

(credit: CBS)

“We found out that the star that we were looking at was part of the Alpha Centauri cluster which contains the planet Proxima Centauri b,” said Turner. “By analyzing the star Alpha Centauri we were able to determine that Proxima b is not only Earth-like in its structure but could also host life on it.”

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She found a planet that could support life. She wrote a paper about it and NASA has confirmed her findings and plans to publish her paper.

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“I was in the fourth grade and I was like, ‘This is what I’m going to go to school for,'” said Turner.

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She is 16 years old now and is working on a second paper: the analysis of muon count fluctuation during rapid solar activity.

LINK: Nominate a Future Leader

“We made a muon detection payload then we launched it during the eclipse in Wyoming,” said Turner. “There’s a Geiger counter in there and we were counting very heavy particles coming in from the atmosphere to see if the eclipse would have any effect on our count rates.”

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Turner did the projects at the Frontiers of Science Institute at the University of Northern Colorado.

“You work with mentors and you do research in their labs. You create a project and then you present that at the end,” said Turner.

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Although she’s leading the way in science at her high school, her eye is on college.

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“I’m really looking forward to the research and also being with people who are really like-minded.”

Logan Turner (credit: CBS)

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