17-Year-Old Student Discovers A New Planet On The Third Day Of Internship At NASA

On his third day of work at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, Wolf Cukier, a high school student interning there, found a new planet. His main responsibility when he first joined in the summer of 2019, at the age of 17, was to examine changes in star brightness recorded by NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS. However, while doing so, he discovered a brand-new planet 1,300 light-years from Earth in an extraordinary star-system.

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 around each other and, from our view, eclipse each other every orbit,” said Wolf Cukier . “About three days into my internship, I saw a signal from a system called TOI 1338b. At first, I thought it was a stellar


The new planet, TOI 1388b, is TESS's first circumbinary planet, meaning it orbits two stars rather than one. One is 10% more massive than our Sun, while the other is cooler, darker, and barely one-third the mass of the Sun.

Image credits: NASA Goddard

The planet is around 6.9 times the size of Earth, falling somewhere between Neptune and Saturn. Some generated photos of the TOI 1388b planet have been made public. and took the internet by storm The hues of this planet appear to be captivating pastels in these photographs, with bubblegum pink, soft purple, lavender, and light green tints.

(Updated version of the previous article.)

These photos were generated by a bot and do not represent the planet in any way. We still lack telescopes capable of resolving all of the planets in our solar system, let alone exoplanets from other star systems.

Reference(s): CNBC