Overachieving Teen Discovers New Planet On Third Day Of Internship, Reminds The Rest Of Us We’re All Failures


Keele University

You’re probably procrastinating at your job right now. It’s Friday. That’s fine. I’ve eaten three slices of quiche and have had three cups of coffee, necessitating six total trips to our kitchen.

We’re all pretty worthless when it comes to doing our job. That’s why we hate the up-and-coming whippersnappers. Eager to please, full of boundless energy, excited about work, it’s easy to understand. They’re just god awful people.

Why the fuck do they want to be so productive all the time?

So when I read about Tom Wagg, boy did I want to crap on him. Goober shows up to a work-study, boss gives him a bullshit, mindless, time-waster of a task (“go find a planet”), and he completes it three days later.

That’s the kind of eager beaver that will one day have all our jobs.

But you know what? Good for him. Because he found a fucking planet. From a Keele University press release announcing the news:

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.

“Hugely excited?” Okay, my job’s safe. But as for all you stuck in your ways astronomers, Wagg is coming for you.

Tom 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.

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.

Good for you, Tom. Good for you. I’m serious.

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