White Plains, NY — In a special ceremony Tuesday night, the Westchester County Board of Legislators honored Scarsdale High School senior Wolf Cukier, a young scientist who discovered a previously unknown planet while working as a NASA summer intern.

Board Chairman Ben Boykin (D - White Plains, Scarsdale, Harrison), presented Wolf with proclamations both from the Board and from County Executive George Latimer, hailing Wolf for his remarkable achievement.

Through his own initiative, Cukier earned a summer internship at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, securing a mentor while participating in the Science Research Program elective course.

During his second summer internship at Goddard, Wolf's job was to examine data about the brightness of certain stars. He was looking at data from a system 1,300 light-years away. He thought he might be looking at two stars circling each other. But Wolf realized that explanation didn't make sense.  In fact, it turns out, what he was looking at was a planet that NASA didn't know existed until Wolf found it. It's the first planet anyone at NASA has ever found that has two suns.

NASA announced the discovery and featured it in a panel discussion at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Honolulu earlier this month. And Wolf is the co-author of a paper on the discovery, alongside scientists from Goddard, San Diego State University, the University of Chicago and other institutions. 

The Board declared Wednesday, January 22, Wolf Cukier Day in Westchester County. The planet is currently known as TOI 1338b, but that Wolf and his family hope that the planet might ultimately be named "Wolftopia."

(PICTURED ABOVE Top row, L to R: Minority Whip David Tubiolo, Jose Alvarado, Majority Whip Christopher Johnson, Catherine Parker, Colin Smith, Vedat Gashi, Damon Maher, Vice Chair Alfreda Williams; Bottom row, L to R: Lyndon Williams, Nancy Barr, Ruth Walter, Minority Leader Margaret Cunzio, Majority Leader MaryJane Shimsky, Chair Ben Boykin, Wolf Cukier, Beth Cukier, Terry Clements, Catherine Borgia, Kitley Covill; Photo Credit: Jaevon Boxhill)


(Wolf Cukier speaks to Board of Legislators, in background: Chair Ben Boykin; Photo: Jaevon Boxhill)