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15-Year-Old Discovers New Planet

posted: 06/11/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
New planet WASP-142b
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Artist rendition of WASP-142b (on the left), as seen from a hypothetical moon.
David A. Hardy

A teenager in England has suddenly become the coolest kid in school: 15-year-old Tom Wagg discovered a new planet while participating in a work-experience program at Keele University.

Cataloged as WASP-142b, the planet lies in the Southern constellation of Hydra. It was discovered based on data collected by the Wide Angle Search for Planets project, which identifies planets when they pass in front of their host star, creating a temporary "dip" in the light.

After two years of further analysis, astronomers are confident that WASP-142b is, in fact, a planet.

"I'm hugely excited to have a found a new planet, and I'm very impressed that we can find them so far away", says Wagg, now 17, who plans to study physics.

"Tom is keen to learn about science, so it was easy to train him to look for planets'', adds Professor Coel Hellier, who helms the WASP project.

Click here for more information from Keele University

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