Scarsdale teen’s internship at NASA leads to planet discovery
A Scarsdale teenager went way beyond during his internship with NASA last summer.
Wolf Cukier, 17, says his experience was like a Star Wars movie.
“I discovered a planet. It has two stars which it orbits around. So, if you think to Luke's homeworld, Tatooine, from Star Wars, it's like that. Every sunset, there's gonna be two stars setting,” says Cukier.
Cukier, a senior at Scarsdale High School, says the discovery happened on the third day of a two-month internship. His role consisted of examining images through a TESS telescope.
He alerted his mentors when one graph stood out, and that’s when the excitement began.
"There were some ups and downs in our confidence along the way. But it was cool and it was exciting to see that process,” shared Cukier.
News 12 is told the teen made history because his finding was the first ever discovery using the TESS telescope. The planet named TOI 1338b sits 1,300 light years away, meaning our sun is about 7 to 9 light minutes away.
When discussing his higher education plans, Cukier says his "top three choices are Princeton, MIT and Stanford."