Indian scientists discover exoplanet 600 light years away

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

India discovers new planet, joins elite club

They have detected a sub-Saturn or sub-Neptune like planet revolving around a Sun-like star.

With this discovery, India is now among the league of countries that have discovered planets around stars.

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.

Chennai: The scientists of PRL, Ahmedabad discovered a new planet (exoplanet) using PARAS spectrograph on Mt. Abu. This is the first of its kind spectrograph in the country, which can measure the mass of a planet going around a star. These type of spectrographs exist mostly in the United States of America and in the Europe that can do such precise measurements.

One of them is just 160 light years from Earth and includes three planets that are remarkably similar in size to our own. "It is closer to Neptune", he said, pointing out that the new planet had 27 times the mass of Earth and six times its radius. The surface temperature is quite high and is estimated to be around 600 degree Celsius. The team found the planet to be smaller in size than Saturn and bigger than Neptune.

However, calculations suggest that the heavy elements, ice, silicates, and iron content are 60-70 % of the total mass. Since the planet revolves around host star EPIC 211945201 or K2-236, it will be known as EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b - ISRO said.

In the end, also in the news is the discovery of three Earth-sized planets, made by Spanish astronomers. The PRL scientists observed the target for around 420 days for probing the nature of the system using the PARAS spectrograph. "Extra" implies that these are outside our solar system. According to a report, more than 3400 exoplanets have been discovered. "Over the next few years, I expect that they will be able to make further contributions to this exciting field of astronomy". 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.

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