Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




EXO WORLDS
Work-experience schoolboy discovers a new planet
by Staff Writers
Keele, UK (SPX) Jun 14, 2015


An artist's impression of Tom's planet, WASP-142b, orbiting its star, WASP-142. The planet is depicted as seen from a hypothetical moon. A second, dimmer star is seen in the background. Being 1000 light years away, the planet is too distant to obtain a direct image.

A 15-yr-old schoolboy has discovered a new planet orbiting a star 1000 light years away in our galaxy. Tom Wagg was doing work-experience at Keele University when he spotted the planet by finding a tiny dip in the light of a star as a planet passed in front of it.

``I'm hugely excited to have a found a new planet, and I'm very impressed that we can find them so far away'', says Tom, now aged 17. It has taken two years of further observations to prove that Tom's discovery really is a planet.

Tom (photos below) found 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 (transits) caused by planets passing in front of their host star.

Tom's planet has been given the catalogue number WASP-142b, being the 142nd discovery by the WASP collaboration. It is in the Southern constellation of Hydra. While astronomers worldwide have now found over 1000 extra-solar planets, Tom is possibly the youngest ever to have done so.

``The WASP software was impressive, enabling me to search through hundreds of different stars, looking for ones that have a planet'', says Tom. The planet is the same size as Jupiter, but orbits its star in only two days. With such a short orbital period the transits occur frequently, making such planets much easier to find.

While the planet is much too far away to see directly, an artist's impression shows how it might look (image link below). The hemisphere facing the star is hot, blasted by the irradiation from the star, while the other hemisphere is much cooler.

Tom, a pupil at Newcastle-under-Lyme School who has always been keen on science, asked for the work-experience week after learning that Keele University had a research group studying extra-solar planets.

``Tom is keen to learn about science, so it was easy to train him to look for planets'', says Professor Coel Hellier, who leads the WASP project at Keele. Tom has since achieved 12 GCSEs, all at A*, and wants to study physics at university.

The planet is one of a class of ``hot Jupiter'' planets, which - unlike the planets in our own Solar System - have very tight orbits close to their stars. They are thought to have migrated inwards through interactions with another planet. Thus it is likely that Tom's planet is not the only planet orbiting that star.

The planet does not yet have a name, though the International Astronomical Union has started a contest to name extra-solar planets. Tom is looking forward to making a suggestion for his planet.

The WASP collaboration (Wide Angle Search for Planets) is the UK's leading team discovering planets, having been recognised with a Group Achievement Award by the Royal Astronomical Society. Keele University operates WASP-South, an array of cameras which surveys the Southern Hemisphere sky each clear night.

The WASP consortium also involves scientists from the Universities of Warwick, Cambridge and St. Andrews, and collaborates with scientists in Switzerland, France and Belgium. After Tom found the candidate planet, it was studied by astronomers at the University of Geneva and the University of Liege, to prove that it has the right size and mass to be a planet. A paper reporting an analysis of WASP-142b is being prepared.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
WASP project
Lands Beyond Beyond - extra solar planets - news and science
Life Beyond Earth






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





EXO WORLDS
Hubble detects stratosphere-like layer around exoplanet
Greenbelt, Md. (UPI) Jun 11, 2015
Researchers say they've identified a protective stratosphere-like layer around an exoplanet called WASP-33b. The layer acts a sort of sunscreen, protecting the blazing hot planet from ultraviolet light. Researchers detailed their new discovery - made with the help of data collected by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope - in the Astrophysical Journal. Finding an atmospheric layer out ... read more


EXO WORLDS
Crashing comets may explain mysterious lunar swirls

Google Lunar X-Prize meets Yoda

China, Russia plan joint landing on the Moon

NASA's LRO Moves Closer to the Lunar Surface

EXO WORLDS
Martian glass: Window into possible past life?

Red Planet Rising

Japanese space agency plans to get samples from Martian moon

Supersonic NASA parachute torn to pieces in latest test

EXO WORLDS
How to sail through space on sunbeams - solar satellite leads the way

XCOR Selects Matrix Composites to Develop Lynx Chines

Spacecraft glitch shifts orbiting ISS: Russia

NASA's LDSD Project Completes Second Experimental Test Flight

EXO WORLDS
Electric thruster propels China's interstellar ambitions

China Plans First Ever Landing On The Lunar Far Side

China ranked 4th among world space powers

3D printer making Chinese space suit parts

EXO WORLDS
'Hard landing' as three astronauts return to Earth from ISS

Russian, US Scientists to Cooperate in Space Exploration Despite Sanctions

ISS Adjusts Orbit to Evade Space Junk

Space station back on track after mystery Soyuz glitch

EXO WORLDS
Garvey Spacecraft selects Pacific Spaceport Complex

MSG-4 and S1 C4 make initial contact with Ariane 5 launcher hardware

SpaceX achieves pad abort milestone approval for Commercial Crew

Airbus developing reusable space rocket launcher

EXO WORLDS
Helium-Shrouded Planets May Be Common in Our Galaxy

Hubble detects stratosphere-like layer around exoplanet

Work-experience schoolboy discovers a new planet

Hubble in 'Oh Planet, What Art Thou?' 25th Anniversary Video

EXO WORLDS
Oculus virtual reality headsets set to ship in 2016

New composite material as CO2 sensor

Magnetic nanoparticles could offer alternative to rare Earth magnets

First US deep space weather satellite reaches final orbit




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.