Indian scientists discover exoplanet 600 light years away

Scientists Discover New Planet'EPIC 211945201 600 Light Years Away at Mount Abu Observatory

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.

According to the definition, these are the planets which orbit a star outside the solar system.

A surprise announcement was just made today by the University of Oviedo and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) that researchers have discovered two brand new planetary systems, and one of these new systems is reported to contain three planets that are the exact size of Earth.

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. It goes around the star in about 19.5 days. These type of spectrographs exist mostly in the United States of America and in the Europe that can do such precise measurements.

This breakthrough was achieved by measuring the mass of the planet using the indigenously designed "PRL Advance Radial-velocity Abu-sky Search" (PARAS) spectrograph.

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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. It's a super-Neptune or sub-Saturn size, which is of 27X Earth's mass and 6X Earth's radius.

Being that close, you might think that the planets would be unbearably hot but the scientists say that might not be the case.

The surface temperature of the planet is around 600C as it is very close to the host star (7 times nearer than Earth-Sun distance). Its mass is about 27 times Earth's and six times that of Earth at radius. PRL scientists, who observed the target for about 1.5 years with the spectrograph, made calculations which suggested that heavy elements like ice, silicates and iron content make 60%-70% of the total mass.

Asked for his view, Jayant Murthy, senior professor of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bengaluru, said Dr. Chakraborty's group is the only one in the country doing this important work and has spent several years in developing the facility. Also, they are extremely far away.

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