Indian scientists discover new planet 600 light years away


Prof Abhijit Chakraborty said that the new planet, which is 600 light years away from Earth, was between the size of Saturn and Neptune. It can be found in the Sextant constellation and is 160 light years away from our own sun. According to the researchers, the planets they have discovered could be tens of degrees hotter than the temperature on Earth, because they receive a lot of radiation from their stars, as they orbit close to it.

The second dwarf star called K2-240 has two planets nearly twice the size of our planet. The exoplanet is around 27 times the mass of Earth and has six times the radius of our planet. Its mass is about 27 times Earth's and six times that of Earth at radius.

The discovery becomes one big step for India with regard to space exploration. Scientists have named the host star as EPIC 211945201 or K2-236 and the planet as EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b.

The planets are a close match to Earth in size, but they're positioned much, much closer to their star than Earth is to the Sun. The scientists are of the view that this high temperature is due to its close proximity with host star. But it does not necessarily mean that these planets are also habitable or have conditions necessary to support life. This detection is important as it adds to a sparse catalog of confirmed exoplanets with masses between 10-70 MEarth and radii between 4-8 REarth, whose masses and radii are measured to a precision of 50% or better.

Chennai: The scientists of PRL, Ahmedabad discovered a new planet (exoplanet) using PARAS spectrograph on Mt. Abu. The team observed the previously unknown astronomical body over a period of 420 days or about one and a half year. This is the first of its kind spectrograph in the country, which can measure the mass of a planet going around a star. The gravitational pull by any planet caused its sun-like stars to wobble around their common center of mass. Only a tool such as the PARAS can precisely compute Radial Velocity.

ISRO website states that the 1.2 m InfraRed Telescope at Mount Abu is the first major facility in India that is specifically designed for ground-based infrared observations of celestial objects. Most of the similar apparatus may only be found in the United States and Europe.