Science

Indian Scientists Discover New Planet 600 Light Years Away

Indian Scientists Discover New Planet 600 Light Years Away”

NASA's Kepler satellite, which was launched in 2009 as part of the K2 mission, has uncovered three Earth-sized planets in another solar system.

Scientists, from the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) at Ahmedabad have put India in the elite league of countries who have discovered planets around stars. The star, which is located roughly 160 light years from Earth, isn't like our Sun. Since the planet revolves around host star EPIC 211945201 or K2-236, it will be known as EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b - ISRO said. The planet is situated very near to the star and takes only 19.5 days to complete a full revolution.

Dr. Murthy said, "The work done by Dr. Chakraborty and his collaborators is important in characterising the nature of the exoplanet and they were able to show that the candidate is a close to Saturn-size planet orbiting near its star".

Being that close, you might think that the planets would be unbearably hot but the scientists say that might not be the case.

The surface temperature of the planet was found to be around 600 degrees Celsius and was found to be seven times nearer to its star, in comparison with Earth-sun distance. At least three rocky planets have been found, two of them being 1.1 times the radius of Earth, and the third planet being nearly the exact size. "Very few such spectrographs exist around the world (mostly in the US and in the Europe) that can do such precise measurements", the space agency said on its website late on June 8. "These planets are very unlike those in our own Solar System and understanding them will tell us more about how planetary systems are formed".

The gravitational pull caused by a planet on its host star makes it wobble around their common center of mass, which shifts the spectra and can be measured in terms of Radial Velocity using precise and stabilised High Resolution Spectrographs, like the PARAS.

However, calculations suggest that the heavy elements, ice, silicates, and iron content are 60-70 % of the total mass. The PRL scientists observed the target over a time-baseline of 420 days (in about 1.5 years) using the PARAS spectrograph for probing the nature of the system.



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