A NY high school student can put "planet discovery" on his resume after finding a new world during his NASA internship.
About three days into his internship, Cukier noticed a signal from a system named "TOI 1338".
This is the first time that the TESS program has found a planet orbiting two stars, and the discovery was featured during the 235th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Honolulu this week. "It turned out to be a planet", he recalled.More news: Jojo Rabbit, The Two Popes nominated for Oscars
TOI 1338 b, the planet found by Cukier, is 1,300 light-years away in the Pictor constellation and orbits two stars.
A teenage intern at NASA discovered a new planet, one nearly seven times the size of Earth, while reviewing research data a year ago, ABC News reports. TOI 1338 b "transits" - when a planet moves in front of its star from the Earth's perspective - vary between 93 and 95 days because of the way the stars orbit.
The planet has two suns that orbit each other every 15 days. One is about 10 percent bigger than our Sun, while the other is cooler, dimmer and only one-third the Sun's mass.
According to NASA, TOI 1338 b is roughly 6.9 times larger than Earth, or "between the sizes of Neptune and Saturn". NASA said the teen's discovery was rare because circumbinary planets are usually hard to find and scientists can only detect these planets during a transit event, when one of the suns shows a decrease in brightness. "We don't have a large sample size of binary system planets".More news: Shaggy denied a chance to collaborate with Rihanna
In 2019, Wolf Cukier joined NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, as a summer intern. The first such discovery came in 1993.
Cukier added that throughout the internship, it became 100% clear that what was discovered was a planet.
TESS stabilizes on one area of the sky to detect whether objects - planets - pass in front of stars, which causes a temporary drop in the stars' luminosity. Only "d" is in the so-called "Goldilocks zone", not too far from and not too close to the star, where the temperature could allow the presence of liquid water.More news: Authors Stephen King and Don Winslow offer to donate $175,000 to St