Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Sci-tech | By Brandy Patterson

Explainer: Indian scientists discover exoplanet 600 light years from Earth

Explainer: Indian scientists discover exoplanet 600 light years from Earth

Hence the planet will be known as EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b.

"With this discovery India has joined a handful of countries which have discovered planets around stars", PRL's parent Indian Space Research Organisation has announced. Now, a trio of new rocky worlds has been discovered orbiting a distant star, and while they're a lot like Earth in terms of size, they're a bit steamier.

Indigenously designed "PRL Advance Radial-velocity Abu-Sky Search" (PARAS) spectrograph integrated with a 1.2m telescope, was used to measure the mass of the planet, which facilitated the discovery of the planet.

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It's estimated to be more than seven times closer to its star than we are, which means a year lasts just roughly 19.5 days. The detection also adds to a sparse catalogue of 22 other confirmed exoplanet systems that have a mass and radius in this range, ISRO said.

Besides, according to the report made on this discovery, the Neptune-sized planet presents a surface temperature of about 600 degrees Celsius due to the fact that this exoplanet is orbiting very close to its host star.

The planets, which were discovered around a star called K2-239, are incredibly close to Earth in overall size, with radii measuring between 1.0 and 1.1 times that of our own planet. "Very few such spectrographs exist around the world (mostly in the United States of America and in the Europe) that can do such precise measurements", the space agency said on its website late on June 8.

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In a conversation with Times of India, Chakraborty suggested that the planet was six hundred light years away from Earth and would be between Saturn and Neptune in size.

That's why the discovery of this super-Neptune planet is of great importance for the Indian astronomers as it is the first exoplanet this country's scientists have ever identified on their own. The planet is most likely uninhabitable.

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.

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