Coolest Intern on Earth Discovers New Planet 1,000 Lightyears Away

It’s a whole new world as 15-year-old Tom Wagg goes down in both intern and astronomy history.

image via (cc) flickr user gsfc

Internships, both paid and unpaid, can be a tricky proposition. In the best case scenario, an intern is expected to learn by doing, thereby gaining valuable work experience while simultaneously contributing to whatever workplace they’ve been assigned to. In the worst case scenario, it’s months of “copy this” and “coffee that” with little room for personal or professional growth. And while interns may promise to make a world of difference for their employer, only one has ever literally done so.

Tom Wagg was 15 when he began his internship at England’s University of Keele, after learning the school had specialists working to identify extra-solar bodies—planets, planetoids, and moons which lie outside our own solar system. There, Wagg made a discovery that is sure to go down as the single most monumental intern achievement in history.

He discovered a planet.

image via (cc) flickr user gsfc

WASP-142b, as it is currently cataloged, is roughly the same size as Jupiter, and resides in the Hydra constellation, some 1,000 light years away from Earth. Wagg discovered the galactic body while pouring over data from the Wide Angle Search for Planets project, England’s premier planetary search group based at the University of Keele. A release from the university explains that Wagg noticed the potential planet after “finding a tiny dip in the light of a star as a planet passed in front of it.” Oh, and he reportedly made the discovery on just his third day of work.

Astronomers at the University of Geneva and the University of Liege who have spent the past two years reviewing Wagg’s data will be announcing this weekend that WASP 142b is, in fact, a real planet, and Wagg is, in fact, the person who discovered it. Now 17, Wagg wants to study astronomy in college, and credits his achievement to WASP, explaining: “The WASP software was impressive, enabling me to search through hundreds of different stars, looking for ones that have a planet.” His planet, meanwhile, is believed to be what astronomers call a “hot Jupiter,” which follows a tight, close orbit to its home star. According to Inhabitat, the International Astronomical Union will be holding an open contest to name this, and other newly-discovered extra-solar planets.

Personally, I think “Planet Intern” sounds pretty good.

[via CNN]


A two-minute television ad from New Zealand is a gut punch to dog lovers who smoke cigarettes. "Quit for Your Pets" focuses on how second-hand smoke doesn't just affect other humans, but our pets as well.

According to Quitline New Zealand, "when you smoke around your pets, they're twice as likely to get cancer."

Keep Reading
via Bossip / Twitter

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders took aim at former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg onstage at Wednesday's Las Vegas Democratic debate, likening the billionaire businessman to President Donald Trump and questioning his ability to turn out voters.

Sanders began by calling out Bloomberg for his stewardship of New York's stop and frisk policy that targeted young black men.

Keep Reading
via United for Respect / Twitter

Walmart workers issued a "wake up call" to Alice Walton, an heir to the retailer's $500 billion fortune, in New York on Tuesday by marching to Walton's penthouse and demanding her company pay its 1.5 million workers a living wage and give them reliable, stable work schedules.

The protest was partially a response to the company's so-called "Great Workplace" restructuring initiative which Walmart began testing last year and plans to roll out in at least 1,100 of its 5,300 U.S. stores by the end of 2020.

Keep Reading