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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Among the scientists, faculty and students roaming the halls at TCU’s College of Science, you will find 11-year-old Cannan Huey-You.

He’s not lost. He’s there studying intergalactic space.

Huey-You is an astronomy apprentice at TCU. The focus of his study is an enormous gas cloud on the fringe of our Galaxy.

“When the galaxy pulls in gas clouds it makes more stars and if it doesn’t have stars the galaxy dies out,” Huey-You explained.

Since he was 9 years old, Huey-You has helped his professor map out the gas cloud and exactly what’s happening as it hits our Galaxy — learning the math and science of space as he goes.

“A lot of these concepts are hard for a high school student or person of high school age or even an undergraduate students and it’s very hard for them to understand these concepts,” said TCU astronomer Dr. Kat Barger.

Just recently Huey-You presented their findings to scientists from around the country.

“I would just say, ‘Hi. I’m Cannan. Nice to meet you.’ And they would say, ‘Wait! That’s an 11-year old presenting at this conference?’,” Huey-You laughed.

Huey-You found out about the TCU College of Science apprenticeship program while following his 14-year old brother to classes. His brother, by the way, is about to get a college diploma in physics from TCU.

Is there a genius gene in the family?

“I wouldn’t say that I’m a genius,” Huey-You said. “Because everyone is sort of… they could be like this.”

But then again it’s not every pre-teen who’s conducting scientific research at a university and has his college plan mapped out.

“Since I want to be an astronaut, I’ll probably double major in astrophysics and engineering.”

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