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A 15-Year-Old May Be The Youngest To Have Ever Found A Planet

How many planets have YOU discovered?

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While interning at England's Keele University, teen Tom Wagg found a new planet 1,000 light-years away.

Keele University / Via keele.ac.uk

When a planet passes in front of its host star, the light gives a tell-tale dip — and that's exactly what Wagg noticed when combing data for a project called WASP (Wide Angle Search for Planets), according to a university press release.

The discovery took two years of observations to confirm. Wagg, now 17, may be the youngest person to have ever discovered a planet.

Here's an artist's rendition of the distant world, which has been classified as a "hot Jupiter," meaning its orbit is very close to its star.

David A. Hardy / Via keele.ac.uk

The planet is also estimated to be the size of Jupiter, but unlike our Jupiter, which takes 12 Earth years to orbit the sun, its trip around the star is a mere two days.

The planet doesn't have a name quite yet: As the project's 142nd discovery, it's been aptly catalogued as WASP-142b. The International Astronomical Union has held contests to name celestial bodies before, and it may be possible for Tom to contribute a suggestion.

Meanwhile, Tom has aced all of his school exams and wants to study physics at university.

Keele University / Via keele.ac.uk

"Tom is keen to learn about science, so it was easy to train him to look for planets," Professor Coel Hellier, who leads the WASP project, said in the release.

Science Writer

Contact Kasia Galazka at kasia.galazka@buzzfeed.com.

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