At 17, he discovered a new planet after three days of internship at NASA

A 17-year-old high school student named Wolf Cukier made headlines in scientific journals in 2019. After a three-day internship at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, he discovered a new planet. Wolf Cukier only had to check the light variations of the stars captured by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, better known as TESS.

The planet he discovered was named TOI 1338b. It is found in a system that is located 1,300 light years from Earth.

“I was reviewing the data for reports of binary eclipses. After three days of 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 was a planet, ” explains Wolf Cukier.

At 17, he discovered a new planet after three days of internship at NASA
Pixabay credits

Today, the images of this planet have surfaced on the web and they are a lot of talk.

A circumbinary planet

Wolf Cukier's discovery is far from trivial. It is indeed the first circumbinary planet to have been detected by the TESS satellite. You should know that a planet is said to be circumbinary when it orbits around two stars instead of just one.

“The first star is 10% more massive than the Sun, while the second is a little cooler, darker and only a third of the Sun's mass , writes NASA.

TOI 1388b is 6.9 times wider than the Earth. Its size is between those of Neptune and Saturn.

TOI 1338b fascinates the web

Recently someone posted pictures of TOI 1338b. These images did not leave the canvas unmoved. We discover a planet in pastel tones with shades of pink, lavender, purple and green.

Within days of posting these snaps on Twitter, the images garnered over 1.2 million likes. The post, meanwhile, has been retweeted more than 224,000 times. It should be noted that these photos were generated by a bot.

For now, telescopes are not yet equipped to photograph planets located at such a distance.

1 Shares
0 replies on “At 17, he discovered a new planet after three days of internship at NASA”