While some teenagers spend their time on social media platforms, playing video games or taking selfies, others have other hobbies like discovering new planets.
That’s the case of Tom Wagg, the teenager who discovered a planet all by himself while he was only fifteen.
In 2013, Tom went to Keele University and spent a week among telescopes and scientists.
While he was studying the universe, the young man located a planet in the southern constellation known as Hydra.
According to the teenager, he was searching for “a tiny dip in the light of a distant star” more than 1,000 light years away when he discovered the new planet.
Although the teenager discovered a new planet when he was 15, it took two years for the astronomers to verify and confirm the new discovery.
The planet discovered by Wagg is one of those planets, or more exactly, exoplanets that orbit a star that is not our Sun.
In the last 20 years, astronomers have discovered more than 1,000 exoplanets.
But this is different because scientists at Keele University say Wagg is actually the youngest person to ever discover such a planet.
Wagg, now 17, said he is extremely excited of his discovery and also very impressed that he was able to spot a new planet located so far away from our solar system.
The recently-discovered planet was not given a name yet and astronomers say that it cannot be seen using only a telescope.
Also, the planet is approximately the same size as Jupiter and was observed orbiting the star in just two days.
Coel Hellier, professor at Keele University, talked about the newly-found planet saying that it belongs in the class of “hot planets” that orbits Jupiter.
Hellier added that there might be other similar planets orbiting the same star waiting to be discovered.
For now, the recently-discovered exoplanet has been named WASP-142b by the Wide Angle Search for Planets.
According to the International Astronomical Union, there is a contest meant to find names for other recently-found planets.
Wagg found the planet using data collected by the Wide Angle Search for Planets (WASP) project.
This particular project is responsible for monitoring millions of stars at night in order to locate any tiny dips known as transits, that are caused by the planets that pass in front of their own host star.
Wagg, who is a student at the Newcastle-under-Lyme School, said he wants to go to college to study physics.
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