Science

NASA intern discovers world with two suns

He will not forget this internship so quickly: A 17 year old has a previously unknown position during his time at the US space agency Nasa Find the planets. Wolf Cukier had done an internship there in the summer, as Nasa announced this week. “After three days, I noticed a signal from a system called TOI 1338,” said Cukier. “It turned out to be a planet.”

“TOI 1338 b” according to Nasa has two suns, is 1300 Light years away from us and almost seven times larger than Earth. It was found using data from the “Tess” space telescope. The planet orbits two closely related stars within 93 to 95 days. One is slightly larger than the earthly sun, the other only has a third of its mass. The system lies in the constellation Painter, which cannot be seen from Germany.

Wolf Cukier is not the first student to have made such a discovery: In the year 2015 had announced the British Keele University, a 15 year old had during a week-long internship at the university the previously unknown planet “WASP- 142 b “discovered. This boy, Tom Wagg, had also spotted a tiny darkening in the starlight caused by the passing planet. After his discovery, Wagg wanted to study physics at Keele University.

The telescope “Tess” had already attracted attention this week with the discovery of an approximately Earth-sized planet outside our solar system. “TOI 700 d” is, according to Nasa, at a distance from its star where water could be liquid on its surface. Liquid water – instead of ice or steam – is a prerequisite for life.

Approximately 20 Heavenly bodies known

“Tess” – the abbreviation stands for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite – 2018 was started to discover planets outside our solar system. “TOI 700 d” was the first earth-sized exoplanet in a habitable zone that the telescope found.

So far, about 20 such celestial bodies are known. Planets orbiting two stars have also been previously observed with other telescopes. ( dpa )

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