Scarsdale, New York Teen Discovers New Planet While Interning at NASA

A senior from Scarsdale High School in New York has made a rare discovery on behalf of NASA — a planet orbiting two stars. The student, Wolf Cukier, was just three days into an internship at NASA when he made the rare discovery. It was all part of an internship at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, which he began after his junior year. So, as an intern, he was charged with analyzing variations in star brightness with data gathered by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). Wolf’s discovery is TESS’s first circumbinary planet — or a world that orbits two stars. The discovery was announced at the 235th American Astronomical Society meeting in Honolulu on Monday. “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,” Wolf said in a statement from NASA. “About three days into my internship, I saw a signal from a system called TOI 1338,” he said. “At first I thought it was a stellar eclipse, but the timing was wrong. It turned out to be a planet.”

SOURCE: NYPost.com

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