Indian Scientists Discover New Planet 600 Light Years Away

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The Physical Research Laboratory is a unit of Department of Space that carries out research in areas of physics, space and atmospheric sciences, astronomy, and planetary and geo-sciences. This announcement was done by the Indian Research Space Organisation (ISRO) on June 8, 2018.

Chennai: The scientists of PRL, Ahmedabad discovered a new planet (exoplanet) using PARAS spectrograph on Mt. Abu. They have detected a sub-Saturn or sub-Neptune like planet revolving around a Sun-like star. Researchers at the Indian Lab have discovered an exoplanet (a planet outside our solar system), larger than Neptune but smaller than Saturn, around 600 light years away from Earth. The gravitational pull by any planet caused its sun-like stars to wobble around their common center of mass. Most importantly, the discovery of the new planet can help scientists to fully understand the nature of exoplanets that are too close to their "suns".

With this discovery, India has joined the elite club of a handful of countries which have discovered planets around stars, ISRO said. Those worlds - which like the first system, orbit a red dwarf - are known as super Earths. Scientists have named the host star as EPIC 211945201 or K2-236.

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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. A PARAS is a special kind of spectrograph that has a 1.2m telescope to locate such space objects. The total mass of these elements was calculated at about 60 to 70 percent of planet EPIC's total mass. "Very few such spectrographs exist around the world (mostly in the United States of America and in Europe) that can do such precise measurements", the official statement said.

Initially, the source was found to be a planetary candidate from NASA K2 (Kepler2) photometry because it was transiting, that is the planet body comes in between the star and the observer on Earth as it goes around the star and therefore it blocks a tiny amount of star-light. All these planets apparently do not reside in their stars' habitable zone as they are orbiting very close to their red dwarfs. As this system is reported to feature three rocky planets that are the same size as Earth, astronomers are taking notice.