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Planet 600 Light Years Away From Earth Discovered by Indian Scientists

11 June 2018

It revolves around a Sun-like star in 19.5 days, 600 light yrs away. In comparison with the Earth's distance to the sun, the planet is seven times nearer to its star - such conditions might render the star inhabitable.

Researchers at the PRL believes that the discovery of such planets will help them to study the formation of sub-Neptune or sub-Saturn like planets. It contains at least three rocky planets, the radius of which is equal to or approximately equal to the earth, and the weight is 1.4, 0.9 and 1.3 times the mass of Earth.

The planet has been discovered using an indigenous spectrograph known as PRL Advance Radial Velocity Abu-sky Search or PARAS along with a 1.2m Telescope.

The scientific team, led by Prof Abhijit Chakraborty of Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad, have found a sub-Saturn or super-Neptune size planet (mass of about 27 Earth Mass and size of 6 Earth Radii) around a Sun-like star.

"The spectrograph is the first of its kind in the country which can measure the mass of a planet going around a star". Ice, silicates and iron content make up 60 per cent to 70 per cent of the total mass.

In a post on its website, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said that the name of the planet is EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b.

The scientists added that the temperature of the planet was roughly 600 degrees Celsius due to its proximity to its host star. It was designed by the members of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Division of PRL. These type of spectrographs exist mostly in the United States of America and in the Europe that can do such precise measurements. It is expected to be launched in 2020. These are also called "extrasolar planets".

Two new solar systems, filled with their own worlds, have been found relatively close to our own.

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".

The first exoplanet was discovered in the early 1990s. According to a report, more than 3400 exoplanets have been discovered.

Also published on Medium.

Planet 600 Light Years Away From Earth Discovered by Indian Scientists