High school student discovers new planet on third day of interning for NASA

U.S. & World

(CNN) — A high school student made an out-of-this world discovery during his internship with NASA. 

Wolf Cukier is like any other 17-year-old, except maybe for the fact that he’s discovered a new planet.  

Wolf’s discovery happened in June, on the third day of his internship with NASA at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.  

While look through the TESS Telescope for an assignment, he noticed something different in two stars’ orbit. 

“The planet blocked the light from those two stars, leading to a small dip in the amount of light that reached the telescope. That’s what I noticed at first,” said Wolf.  

Wolf studied the planet, now called TOI 1338B, a bit longer before approaching his team.  

“It was like ‘oh, there’s something here’ it was cool. But there’s also not like a single moment of discovery.” 

The planet, which is about seven times the size of Earth, is roughly 1,300 light years away from us, and is only the 13th plantet of its kind to ever be discovered.  

Wolf says he plans on attending college after graduating from high school this year, but after that, “NASA or other research could be a cool career.” 

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