A Teenager Discovered a New Planet on His Third Day on the Job

Sometimes the greatest discoveries are made when you least expect them. 17-year old high-schooler Wolf Cukier interned at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in the summer of 2019. His main tasks were to examine the data collected by TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) and see if it found anything noteworthy during its quest of looking for systems with two stars.
On the third day of his internship. Cukier noticed a blip in the data which was the clear sign of the presence of an unknown planet, but the discovery needed further investigation. After one and a half years, NASA finally announced the discovery of a new planet named TOI-1338 b, which according to their findings is a Neptune-like gas exoplanet.
TOI-1338 b is 6.9 times the size of Earth and 1,317 light-years away and TESS’s mission is to identify other similar planets to this one. This is truly a very exciting start to an internship and it will surely look great on Cukier’s college application.

A 17-year-old named Wolf Cukier discovered a new gas planet on his third day as a NASA intern in the summer of 2019.

TOI 1338 b with its two stars.

The planet, TOI-1338 b, is larger than Earth and so far away that its existence was only discovered by analyzing the light “blips” as it orbits in its system.

The orbit path of TOI 1338 b.

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