Just Three Days Into His NASA Internship, A 17-Year-Old High School Student Discovered A New Planet


Wolf Cukier a 17-year-old high school student from New York began his internship at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt in the summer of 2019 where he examined changes in star brightness recorded by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite or TESS.

The boy found a brand new planet in a galaxy 1,300 light-years away from us on the third day of his internship.

A 17-year-old high school student discovered a new planet TOI 1338b, during his internship at NASA in 2019

Image credits: NASA Goddard

Wolf Cukier told CNN “I was looking through the data for everything the volunteers had flagged as an eclipsing binary a system where two stars circle each other and from our view eclipse each other every orbit about three days into my internship I saw a signal from a system called TOI 1338b. At first, I thought it was a stellar eclipse but the timing was wrong. It turned out to be a planet.”

The world is circumbinary which means it moves around two stars rather than one

Image credits: NASA Goddard
Image credits: NASA Goddard

The newly discovered planet TOI 1388b is TESS’s first circumbinary planet orbiting two stars instead of one. NASA Goddard writes “One is about 10% more massive than our Sun while the other is cooler, dimmer and only one-third the Sun’s mass” TOI 1388b is 6.9 times the size of Earth falling in between Neptune and Saturn.

Someone recently released a few TOI 1388b created photos that went viral on internet. Warning it’s totally stunning.

A few produced photographs of TOI 1388b were recently published and have since taken the internet by storm

Image credits: paintwater_boba

The world appears to have a mesmerizing pastel color appearance in these created photographs with bubblegum pink soft purple lavender and light green shades. The photos have now received over 1.2 million views and 224 thousand retweets just a few days after being posted on Twitter.

The photos got 1.2 million likes and 224k retweets on Twitter in just a few days

Image credits: paintwater_boba
Image credits: paintwater_boba
Image credits: paintwater_boba

It’s worth noting that these aren’t real pictures of the planet they were generated by a bot. “We don’t have telescopes yet capable of resolving all the planets in our solar system. We just recently found out what Pluto looks like after we sent a spacecraft close to it let alone any explants from other star systems. That won’t change in the next 50 years realistically,” a Twitter user made a remark. “We can’t take photos that far but its real it’s just an artistic depiction of the planet” another user had been added.

The web, of course has a lot to say about this amazing world

Image credits: voss71833152

BTS, Harry Styles, and Ariana Grande may have been the first to discover TOI 1388b according to others

Image credits: B4DDESTBARB
Image credits: bampdnim
Image credits: myhairw*****
Image credits: LoveAlw28s

Many people knew about how this world appears and also tastes

Image credits: growitheflow35
Image credits: Nekomo428110
Image credits: missdjcandy
Image credits: hlmacmillen

And others were quickly willing to move

Image credits: isaac32767
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments