Indian scientists discover planet 600 light years away from Earth

According to the website of the Indian Space Research Organisation, scientists have said that the planet revolves around a sun-like star.

It is being reported that when it comes to the temperature of the three planets that are the same size as Earth, this is where the similarity ends as they would nearly certainly have surface temperatures that are much higher than our planet owing to the intense radiation given by the red dwarf star they orbit.

The exoplanet is reported to be smaller than Saturn but bigger than Neptune.

The three Earth-sized planets all have quite short orbits around their sun, with the longest orbit of one of the planets being completed in just 10.1 days.

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.

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That's why the discovery of this super-Neptune planet is of great importance for the Indian astronomers as it is the first exoplanet this country's scientists have ever identified on their own.

Based on the mass and radius, model-dependent calculations suggest that the heavy elements, like ice, silicates, and iron content is 60 to 70% of the total mass. The name of the star is EPIC 211945201 or K2-236 and the planet is EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b.

PARAS was integrated with a 1.2m telescope at PRL's Gurushikhar Observatory in Mount Abu, India. Significantly, the discovery was made using a PRL-designed spectrograph, PARAS, to measure and confirm the mass of the new planet. Very few such spectrographs exist around the world (mostly in the United States of America and in the Europe) that can do such precise measurements.

The scientists observed the target over a time 420 days or about 1.5 years. These are also called "extrasolar planets". Also, they are extremely far away.

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". But the newly discovered worlds are much closer, meaning that the temperature is probably too hot for life.

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