Indian Scientists Discover New Planet 600 Light Years Away


The discovery was made by the astronomy team headed by Professor Abhijit Chakraborty of PRL.

The discovery was made by measuring the mass of the planet using the indigenously designed "PRL Advance Radial-velocity Abu-Sky Search" spectrograph integrated with a 1.2m telescope at PRL's Gurushikar Observatory in Rajasthan's Mount Abu.

Scientists have claimed that the discovery will help in the understanding of the formation mechanism of super-Neptune or sub-Saturn kind of planets that are too close to the host star.

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EPIC 211945201b's mass is around 27 times that of Earth's and it's estimated to be around six times greater in radius. It's a super-Neptune or sub-Saturn size, which is of 27X Earth's mass and 6X Earth's radius. The find sees India join a small group of countries to have confirmed a planet outside our Solar System. Scientists have named the host star as EPIC 211945201 or K2-236 and the planet as EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b.

The researchers discovered that one system was 160 light years away from the sun; it presumably comprises at least three rocky planets, with their radii approximating that of Earth, and their mass equaling 1.4, 0.9, and 1.3 of Earth's mass, respectively. One revolution around the sun planets do six and 20 days. "It's closer to Neptune", he said. These type of spectrographs exist mostly in the U.S. and in the Europe that can do such precise measurements. It is seven times closer to the star as compared to the distance between the Earth and the Sun. But as yet another discovery of rocket planets that seem to show they are common throughout the universe, they are another sign that it could be more hospitable than we'd thought.

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. The PRL scientists observed the target for around 420 days for probing the nature of the system using the PARAS spectrograph.