New Planet 1000 Light-Years Away Discoverd By 15-Year-Old Boy

First Posted: Jun 14, 2015 06:41 PM EDT

A 15-year-old boy has discovered a new planet orbiting a star that's 1,000 light-years away in our galaxy. While doing work-related experience at Keele University, Tom Wagg spotted tiny dip in thelight of a star as a planet passed in front of it.

The boy first discovered the planet by looking at data collected by the WASP (Wide Angle Search for Planets) project, which surveys the night skies, monitoring millions of stars to look for the tell-tale tiny dips, called transits, which are caused by planets passing in front of their host star.

"I'm hugely excited to have found a new planet and I'm very impressed that we can find them so far away," said Wagg in a news release.

The new planet is called WASP-142b, since it's the 142 discovery of the WASP collaboration. It's located in the Southern constellation of Hydra.

"The WASP software was impressive, enabling me to search through hundreds of different stars, enabling me to search through hundreds of different stars, looking for ones that have a planet," said Wagg.

The planet is the same size as Jupiter and is one of the "hot Jupiter" planets. These have very tight orbits close to their stars and are thought to have migrated inwards through interactions with another planet. It's likely that Wagg's planet isn't the only one orbiting the star. However, future research will be needed in order to confirm it.

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