The summer before senior year of high school can be a stressful time for a teenager. Childhood is winding down. College applications loom large. Many students are looking for an edge that will help them get into the right school. Last year, Wolf Cukier, 17, spent his summer vacation as few other rising seniors have: He helped discover a planet. Meet TOI b, the newly identified world orbiting two stars more than 1, light years away. A unique aspect of the TESS project is that it invites regular people to volunteer to watch the online transmission for patterns in star brightness that might suggest the existence of a new planet, a sort of crowdsourcing of the universe.
17-year-old intern discovers new planet on third day at Nasa
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A teenage intern on his third day helping out at a Nasa program to find worlds beyond our solar system has discovered a previously unknown planet with two stars 1, light years from Earth away in the constellation Pictor, the agency has announced. Assigned to study how two stars would cross paths creating an eclipse, he focused on the solar system TOI , where he noticed something in the orbit of two stars that was blocking the light. His bosses spent several weeks verifying his observation, and ultimately concluded that Cukier had discovered a planet 6. At first I thought it was a stellar eclipse, but the timing was wrong. It turned out to be a planet. Research on the newly discovered planet , known to astrophysicists as a circumbinary planet and now dubbed TOI b, was presented during the th American Astronomical Society meeting in Honolulu. According to Nasa , the stars make an eclipsing binary, which occurs when the stellar companions circle each other in our plane of view. A paper co-authored by Cukier along with established scientists has been submitted to a scientific journal, Nasa said. Tess only sees the transits crossing the larger star — the transits of the smaller star are too faint to detect.