Other than getting coffee, the only real expectation organizations have for their interns is that they try to learn from their more experienced peers. Because of that, you could imagine how stunned NASA was when their 17-year old intern discovered a new planet on only his third day of work.
The intern, Wolf Cukier, explained that he was looking for eclipsing binaries, a system where two stars circle each other, when he discovered an unusual pattern in the data. Upon further analysis, Cukier noticed that there was a planet in between orbiting around the two stars. The new planet – which is 6.9 times bigger than Earth – has been named TOI 1338 b.
TOI 1338 b is considered a circumbinary planet, meaning it orbits two stars. The two stars orbit each other every 15 days, and one is 10% larger than the Sun. As for Cukier, the future looks bright for the young man: if he can discover new planets as an intern, imagine what he will do when he gets a real job.