17-Year-Old Successfully Discovers A Brandnew Planet On His Third Day Of Internship At NASA

Wolf Cukier, a high school student recently discovered a new planet during the third day of his NASA Goddard Space Flight Center internship.

Cukier joined NASA at age 17 in 2019. Then he examined the variations in the brightness of the stars observed by the TESS or Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite of NASA. While engaged in that process he was able to discover a brand new planet 1,300 light-years distant from us on Earth. 

Image credits: NASA Goddard

“I was looking through the data for everything the volunteers had flagged as an eclipsing binary, a system where two stars circle each other and, from our view, eclipse each other every orbit,” said Cukier. “About three days into my internship, I saw a signal from a system called TOI 1338b. At first, I thought it was stellar."

This brand new planet is now named the TOI 1388b. The significance of this planet is, it orbits not only one star but two. One star is expected to be 10% larger than the Sun while the other one is expected to be cooler and dimmer and ⅓ of the Sun.

Image credits: NASA Goddard

Image credits: NASA Goddard

The planet is about 6.9 times larger than the Earth. It's quite similar to the size of Saturn and Neptune. NASA had released some generated pictures of TOI 1388b which were featured in lavender, soft purple, bubblegum pink, and light green shades.

Remember that these are just samples and not real since they were created with the help of a bot. Yet we do not have telescopes to resolve all the planets in our solar system.

Though generated, these pictures are incredibly amazing!!!

Image credits: paintwater_boba

Image credits: paintwater_boba

Image credits: paintwater_boba

Image credits: paintwater_boba

The planet grabbed the whole attention of the internet. 

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