English high school student discovers exoplanet

Discovering a new planet is something that many astronomers dream of and at the ripe age of 15-years-old, an English high school student named Tom Wagg has done just that. Wagg has discovered a gas-giant exoplanet that he first came across two years ago while he was doing a work-experience study at Keele University in England. Additional observations of the planet have now been made and the existence of the planet has been confirmed.

The exoplanet is called Wasp-142b and the confirmation makes Wagg believed to be the youngest person to discover an alien world. The exoplanet is described as a hot Jupiter being about the same size and shape of Jupiter in our solar system. However, the gas giant is very close to its parent star.

Planets of this sort migrate towards the star over time as the result of gravity pulling on its orbit. Scientists believe that the Wasp-142b system likely has other worlds as well. Wagg is a student at the Newcastle-under-Lyme school in Staffordshire.

When Wagg attends college, he plans to study physics. He asked to work at the university when he heard they were searching for exoplanets. The project Wagg was working on is headed by Cole Hellier who said Wagg was easy to train to look for exoplanets.

SOURCE: Space.com