17-Year-Old Student Discovers A New Planet On The Third Day Of Internship At NASA

Wolf Cukier, a high school student interning at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, discovered a new planet on his third day of work there. When he first joined in the summer of 2019, at the age of 17, his main duty was to look at changes in star brightness recorded by NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS. But when he was doing that, he found a brand-new planet that was 1,300 light-years from Earth in an amazing star-system. (Updated version of the previous article.)

Image credits: NASA Goddard


“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,” said Wolf Cukier . “About three days into my internship, I saw a signal from a system called TOI 1338b. At first, I thought it was a stellar


The new planet, now known as TOI 1388b, is TESS’s first circumbinary planet, which means that it orbits two stars instead of one. One of them is 10% more massive than our Sun, and the other one is cooler, dimmer and only one-third the Sun’s mass.


Image credits: NASA Goddard

The planet itself is approximately 6.9 times larger than Earth, between the sizes of Neptune and Saturn. Some generated images of TOI 1388b planet were released. and took internet by the storm. In these images, the colors of this planet to be mesmerizing pastel, featuring bubblegum pink, soft purple, lavender, and light green shades.

(Updated version of the previous article.)


These images were created by a bot and aren’t actual images of the planet. We still don’t have telescopes that are capable to resolve all the planets in our solar system, let alone any exoplanets from other star system.

Reference(s): CNBC

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