Out of this world! Union City teen may have discovered new planet outside solar systemPosted: Updated:
A Hudson County high school student may have discovered a brand new planet that lies outside of our solar system.
Ramzi Saber is a junior at Jose Marti STEM Academy in Union City. He recalls lying on his back as a small child in the courtyards of his grandmother's village in Morocco, mesmerized by the starry sky above.
"The stars and the sky were very, very visible and I would always look up and ask a lot of questions in my head about what this means, and why is that there? And why is this moving faster than that one?” Saber says. "The thing was, I could never answer those questions."
What it took for Saber to finally start answering those questions was an excruciating decision by his mother Ilham Chemame to uproot herself from her big family and a steady job in Morocco and bring Saber to the United States on a visa obtained through the U.S. visa lottery in 2009.
"Should I leave everything behind? It was not about the job, only about family. I lived with my mom, my sister. I couldn't leave everything,” says Chemame.
But Chemame and Saber came to the U.S. to begin a life in a new country totally alone.
"I saw her struggling and we were helping each other back and forth because she had her own stuff going on - trying to find a job and me trying to understand what's going on around me,” Saber says. “So, we stuck with each other the whole time."
This was all done so that Saber could get the education that would help him to finally start answering those big questions he had for so long – and answering them he is.
Saber and his mentors, including Seton Hall University physics professor Jose Lopez believe he has discovered a new exoplanet, four times the size of Jupiter orbiting a star that is 125 lightyears from Earth. The discovery still requires publication and vetting by NASA, a process that could take years.
But what is clear is that Saber is already doing Ph.D.-level astrophysics, all while planning for the upcoming junior prom.
“Ramzi is a once-in-a-lifetime student. And he is very dedicated,” says teacher Jennifer Donnelly.
Dedicated to astrophysics and dedicated to his mother.
"My whole purpose and this whole research and from here on out everything I do is dedicated to my mother,” he says.
Saber has received 10 awards for his research, including a full scholarship to New Jersey City University. But he says that he also plans to apply to Stanford, Harvard and MIT.
- A Sayreville teacher has been arrested for alleged child pornography.A Sayreville teacher has been arrested for alleged child pornography.
- The New Jersey Devils are turning toward youth by trading captain and defenseman Andy Greene to the New York Islanders.
- Theatergoers in New York City were evacuated during a performance because of a pepper spray incident.
- An Elizabeth man has been charged with reckless manslaughter in connection with a fatal stabbing that happened Friday night.
- A fire destroyed a church that has stood in Elizabeth for over a century early Sunday.A fire destroyed a church that has stood in Elizabeth for over a century early Sunday.
New Jersey SlideshowsGalleriesMore>>
- Celebrate the one you love this Valentine's Day! Share your photos with us.Celebrate the one you love this Valentine's Day! Share your photos with us.
- Photos from the 144th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which runs Feb. 9-11 in New York.Photos from the 144th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which runs Feb. 9-11 in New York.
- Cheap Trick performs at NYCB Theatre At WestburyCheap Trick performs at NYCB Theatre At Westbury
- Photos from the 92nd Academy Awards at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020.Photos from the 92nd Academy Awards at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020.
- Check out the performers during the three-day Mountain Jam 2020.Check out the performers during the three-day Mountain Jam 2020.