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17-Year-Old Boy Discovers a New Planet on His Third Day of Internship at NASA

Logo of NASA.

Logo of NASA.

Wolf Cukier was working for NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (Tess) programme, which, for the first time, discovered a planetary system with two stars.

  • Last Updated: January 12, 2020, 12:15 PM IST
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A summer internship for a 17-year-old high school boy from New York turned out to be a remarkable discovery, that has gone to make headlines worldwide.

Wolf Cukier of Scarsdale was doing his internship at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland, where he discovered a new planet that reloves around two stars.

It was his third day as an intern in the space research centre when the planet, which has been named as TOI 1338b with a mass which is 7 times larger than Earth and is located 1300 light-years away.

On the other side, one of the stars happens to be 10 per cent more than the size of the sun and another only a third of the sun's mass and less bright, according to NASA.

As per reports, Wolf was working for NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (Tess) programme, which for the first time discovered a planetary system with two stars.

Wolf went on to co-author a journal along with the other scientists from different US universities based on his discovery in the month of June. The work eventually went on to be featured at a panel at the 235th American Astronomical Society meeting in Honolulu, this week.

As reported by The Washington Post, Wolf was placed under the guidance of research scientist Veselin Kostov, who admitted to have never had a high school intern before.

He added that Wolf's finding has proven to be a "positive sign" for the Tess programme as he believes that this will lead to the discovery of more planets in the future.

The entire process of confirming Wolf's research was concluded within two-three months.

Wolf now awaits to finish his last year at high school and looks forward to studying physics or astrophysics at either Stanford University, MIT University or Princeton University in the state.

The Telegraph reported that Wolf could be back in NASA after his study programmes and possibly indulge in more discoveries. “Future research would involve finding more planets,” Wolf said.

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