15-Year-Old Discovers New Planet On Work Experience

15-Year-Old Goes On Work Experience And Casually Discovers A Planet

A 15-year-old boy doing work experience at Keele University has become the youngest person to discover a planet.

Tom Wagg who is now 17 years old, made the observation while looking at data from WASP (Wide Angle Search for Planets), which monitors millions of stars in the sky.

He discovered the new planet, orbiting a star that is 1,000 light years away, when he noticed a dip in the light of a star, a sign of a planet passing by.

He made the observation in 2013 but astronomers from the University of Geneva and the University of Liege have spent the last two years checking to see if the object he discovered met the size and mass requirement to qualify as a planet.

On learning about his achievement Wagg said:

"I'm hugely excited to have a found a new planet, and I'm very impressed that we can find them so far away.

"The WASP software was impressive, enabling me to search through hundreds of different stars, looking for ones that have a planet.''

The planet, which is yet to be named, is not in our solar system and joins 1000 extra-solar planets that have been discovered by astronomers around the world.

Keele University described Wagg's discovery as a "hot Jupiter'' planet that tend to maintain tight orbits around its stars.

Following his genius observation, Wagg went on to gain 12 GCSEs, all at A* and is hoping to study physics at university.

We're sure this is not the last we'll hear of the young astronomer.

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