Teenager discovers new planet on 3rd day as NASA intern

Wolf Cukier, 17, of Scarsdale, has just recorded his name in the world history after he discovered a new planet on his 3rd day as an intern at NASA.

The planet, which has been named TOI 1338 b, is about 1,300 light years away from the Earth.

Teenager discovers new planet on 3rd day as NASA intern

In a statement, Cukier said:

“I was looking through the data for everything the volunteers had flagged as an eclipsing binary, a system where two stars circle around each other and from our view eclipse each other every orbit.

“About three days into my internship, I saw a signal from a system called TOI 1338. At first, I thought it was a stellar eclipse, but the timing was wrong. It turned out to be a planet.”

TOI 1338 b orbits two stars and is 6.9 times the size of Earth, according to NASA – and, before you get your hopes up, it’s very unlikely that it can support life.

Cukier said:

“The planet blocked the light from those two stars, leading to a small dip in the amount of light that reached the telescope. That’s what I noticed at first.

“It was like, oh… there’s something here that was cool. But it’s also not like there’s a single moment of discovery.”

The planet was caught by satellite TESS and the team used a software package called ‘eleanor’ to confirm that what they were seeing was legit.

The discovery was actually made last summer, but the news has only recently been published in a new study, which was co-authored by Cukier, CBS reports

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