17-year-old Wolf Cukier seems like your average teenager from Scarsdale, New York.
He was pretty thrilled when he landed an internship at NASA, but he never thought the work he did there would be making headlines!
Wolf’s internship was located in Greenbelt, Maryland, at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and his main job was to look into the brightness of stars and their variations.
“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,” Wolf shared in the press release from NASA.
YouTube; NASA released the above illustration of the newly discovered planet
The TOI 1338 system is located 1,300 light-years away from earth in a constellation called Pictor.
It contains two different stars that orbit one other after 15 days. One of those stars is approximately ten percent more massive than the Sun we know, and the other star is much dimmer and approximately one-third the mass of our Sun.
The TOI 1338 system has only one planet, called TOI 1338 b, and it’s 6.9 times bigger than Earth!
This means TOI 1338 b is comparable to the sizes of Saturn and Neptune, and it orbits on the same exact plane as the two stars, so there are frequently stellar eclipses.
It’s pretty cool that Wolf is only 17, but has this really neat discovery under his belt already!
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