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January 20, 2020 Monday 12:41:24 PM IST

NASA intern discovers a new planet

Science Innovations

Wolf Cukier, a 17-year-old intern at NASA discovered a new planet on his third day of internship. NASA confirms that Wolf was checking images from its super-strength satellite when he noticed something strange. It turned out to be a new planet, 1,300 light years away from Earth.  

Wolf is now back at high school in Scarsdale, New York. He explains that he landed the two-month placement with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center when school finished last summer. His job was to examine data beamed back via their Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) - a space telescope that looks for planets outside of our solar system.

"I was searching for a planet that orbits two stars," he explains. He had to look for changes in the brightness of any stars that might suggest the shadow of a planet passing in front. During these three days, he was looking at a solar system many light years away from ours and noticed something blocking the light of two stars. And he made this great discovery.