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Tom Wagg Is Now The Youngest Person To Discover A Planet

Tom Wagg Planet

When now 17-year-old Tom Wagg was just 15-years-old, he discovered a planet while doing work-experience at Keele University.

The planet which he spotted was recently attributed the catalog number WASP-142b, making his discovery official and according to the Huffington Post, making him the youngest person to have ever discovered a planet.

But while Tom’s achievement seems uncanny for a young man of his age — and it is — he’s not the only high school student to have made a noteworthy discovery in the realm of astronomy, as a team of high school students previously discovered an unseen pulsar which just so happens to have the widest orbit of any rapidly spinning neutron star ever detected.

Keele University announced the planet’s discovery in a press release published Wednesday on the university’s website. The release quotes the now 17-year-old Tom as having said that he’s “hugely excited” to have discovered a new planet and not only that, he’s also “impressed” that we’re able to find them when they’re so far away.

In the case of the WASP-142b, the name of which serves as an indicator of it having been the 142nd by the WASP (Wide Angle Search for Planets) collaborative project.

WASP surveys the night skies, monitoring millions of stars in search of new planets. New planets are seen as tiny tell-tale dips known as transits which are indicative of planets passing in front of their host stars. It is this through planet discovery technique that Mr. Wagg discovered his very first planet.

In regards to the planet searching software employed by the WASP project, Tom said that it’s “impressive,” as it enabled him “to search through hundreds of different stars, looking for ones that have a planet.”

WASP-142b, which was discovered in the Southern constellation of Hydra, is orbiting a star 1,000 light years away. His discovery, which was first observed back in 2013, was confirmed by astronomers at the University of Geneva and the University of Liege who spent the last two years verifying his discovery by calculating whether the object met the size and mass requirement to qualify as a planet.

In other Keele University coverage here at Immortal News, researchers from Keele and the University of Sussex recently published a study which suggests aluminum may be contributing to colony collapse disorder.

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