Wolf Cooker, 17-year-old NASA intern: “Planet discovered on the third day of the internship”

Wolf Cooker, 17-year-old NASA intern: “Planet discovered on the third day of the internship”

Wolf Cooker, 17-year-old NASA intern: “Planet discovered on the third day of the internship”

Wolf Koker was looking at images from a very powerful NASA satellite when he saw evidence of a planet.
Wolf Koker was looking at images from a very powerful NASA satellite when he saw evidence of a planet.

We all want to impress our boss, especially when we’re new recruits.

 

But Wolf Cooker, a 17-year internship at NASA, surprised everyone when he discovered a new planet on his third day at work.

 

He was watching images from a very powerful NASA satellite when he saw something strange.

 

The planet was found to be 1300 light-years from Earth, and NASA confirmed the news.

 

Wolf has now completed his internship and has returned to high school in the Scarsdale area of ​​New York. He spoke exclusively to BBC Radio 1 News bat about his surprising discovery.

 

He said he was offered a two-month internship at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland last summer after school.

 

His job was to analyze data from NASA’s TESS (Transit Exoplanet Study Satellite) to identify planets outside our solar system.

He said he was  ( looking for a planet orbiting two stars at the same time ).

 

They had to watch the stars decrease in brightness. This decrease could be an indication that a planet is passing in front of this star.

 

He only had three days at work. While we were probably just concentrating on tea during our work or trying to adapt to the new environment, they looked at another solar system many light years from our solar system and saw two stars. The brightness changes.

 

Then they marked it.

 

“I brought it to my manager. Together we examined the data for these stars and saw two more drops of light. Then we started to analyze whether it could really be a planet.

 

Their discovery was enough to involve other scientists. Further analysis showed that the planet is 6.9 times larger than Earth. And it’s called DU 1338 b.

It’s not an interesting name, but Wolf says they didn’t ask for help.

According to NASA's sketch, the planet may look something like this
According to NASA’s sketch, the planet may look something like this

“I didn’t want to call this planet. My brother thought it should be called Wolfshut, but I think DU 1338 b is enough.

 

But YOU 1338 b is not a normal planet, but a circular binary planet. These are planets that revolve around two stars instead of one.

 

Star Wars fans may remember that Luke Skywalker’s legendary home, tattoo, was also a circular binary planet.

 

Wolf is familiar with this comparison and tells us that he is also wearing a Star Wars shirt today.

 

“It’s like a tattoo, at least the stars in the sky will look like this.” Then there will be a double sunset.

 

But unlike tattoo, the planet is uninhabitable. The wolf suggests that it can be very hot and that its surface may not be solid.

Does your discovery mean that one day you will find a job at NASA?

 

( I don’t know what NASA’s recruitment process is, but it won’t hurt, ) he said. It’s good that it’s on my resume. ”

 

He says the space agency is “impressed” by what it did during its internship.

 

“My superiors were very helpful and enthusiastic. I think NASA is also surprised at the attention they receive.”

The presence of a planet is determined by the regular decrease in the light of its star
The presence of a planet is determined by the regular decrease in the light of its star

He proudly wears a NASA hoodie over his Star Wars shirt. It is not a gift they received for their success, they bought it in a souvenir shop at a reduced price.

 

But Wolfe says “it’s a good jacket” and it was good to buy it.

He sees his future in space and wants to go to university after graduation.

 

( I intend to study physics and astrophysics at the university. From there it will be interesting to pursue a career in space research.

 

But now life has returned to normal for Wolf, but he has become famous among his high school friends.

 

( I have had more congratulations in the past four days than in the past two years,) he said. Everyone is very excited. It’s a great experience. ”

 

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