He is only 17 years old, but can already say that he has discovered a planet. Wolf Cukier from Scarsdale in the US state of New York made the discovery on his third internship at NASA.
The American space agency announced this this week. The planet is called TOI 1338b. It is almost seven times the size of the earth and is 1300 light-years away from us. Remarkably, the planet travels around two suns. These stars in turn turn around each other.
Cukier discovered the planet last summer during the exploration of telescope images of “planetary hunter” TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite). During his internship he had to investigate planets in which two stars revolved around each other. The student discovered the planet because he saw something that blocked the light of the two stars. Planets found with TESS are not named after the discoverer, but start with TOI.
The boy is not the first intern at NASA to discover a new planet. It happened five years ago when a 15-year-old trainee saw the planet WASP-142b.