Scarsdale teen’s internship at NASA leads to planet discovery

Posted: Updated:

A Scarsdale teenager went way beyond during his internship with NASA last summer.

Wolf Cukier, 17, says his experience was like a Star Wars movie.

“I discovered a planet. It has two stars which it orbits around. So, if you think to Luke's homeworld, Tatooine, from Star Wars, it's like that. Every sunset, there's gonna be two stars setting,” says Cukier.

Cukier, a senior at Scarsdale High School, says the discovery happened on the third day of a two-month internship. His role consisted of examining images through a TESS telescope.

He alerted his mentors when one graph stood out, and that’s when the excitement began.

"There were some ups and downs in our confidence along the way. But it was cool and it was exciting to see that process,” shared Cukier.

News 12 is told the teen made history because his finding was the first ever discovery using the TESS telescope. The planet named TOI 1338b sits 1,300 light years away, meaning our sun is about 7 to 9 light minutes away.

When discussing his higher education plans, Cukier says his "top three choices are Princeton, MIT and Stanford."

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."