May 19, 2024
This kid has to be the intern of the year
Scarsdale HS senior Wolf Cukier, 17, used the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite system to spot the planet TOI 1338 b.
Scarsdale HS senior Wolf Cukier, 17, used the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite system to spot the planet TOI 1338 b.

He didn’t just discover a new planet, but one of an extremely unusual, hard-to-spot kind. And he did it at 17, on his third day as a NASA intern. Nice.

Interning at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center last summer, as The Post reported Thursday, Scarsdale HS senior Wolf Cukier used the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite system to spot the planet now named TOI 1338 b — which circles not one but two stars in a binary solar system.

That peculiar orbit makes such circumbinary planets especially difficult to identify.

Announced Monday at the 235th American Astronomical Society meeting in Honolulu, the discovery is the topic of a scientific-journal paper Cukier co-authored with scientists from Goddard, San Diego State University, the University of Chicago and other institutions.

Cukier regrets that he “didn’t find anything else for the rest of the internship.” That’s OK, kid: Your résumé is already looking … astronomical.

See Also:

(1) Hubble detects smallest known dark matter clumps

(2) Jupiter is hurling comets towards Earth, physicist claims

(3) Study probes the origin of the very high energy gamma-ray source VER J1907+062

(4) On the hunt for primordial black holes

(5) Stellar black holes: When David poses as Goliath

(6) NASA Snaps the Most Detailed Image of the Milky Way’s Center

(7) Meteorite that crashed to Earth half a century ago contains the oldest matter on the planet

(8) ‘Great Divide’ in our solar system caused by pressure changes in protoplanetary disc

(9) Heat wave signals the growth of a stellar embryo

(10) First results from the Dark Energy Survey

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