We’ve all been told we were born too late to explore the earth and too early to explore the universe, but, it seems young Tom Wagg arrived just in time.
Tom, now 17, was at Keele University in England doing a work-experience course when he discovered by “finding a tiny dip in the light of a star as a planet passed in front of it.”.
It then took two years to determine if that dip in light was actually a planet.
The planet, named WASP-142b for now, is around the same size as Jupiter and orbits its star in 48 hours.
The designated name comes from the Wide Angle Search for Planets (WASP) team that searches for planets in the vastness.
What else is going on with Tom? Well he’s getting straight As right now and wants to study physics when he completes high school. Unfortunately he won’t be able to name the planet he discovered, as the International Astronomical Union has a contest to name them. Tom can suggest a name, however.
You can see an interpretation of the planet above.
[Source – Keele University]
[Image – David A. Hardy]