Indian scientists discover planet 600 light years away: From the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad, A team of scientists, have discovered a sub-Saturn or super-Neptune size planet that is about 27 times the mass of Earth and six times the radius of Earth.
This planet revolves around a Sun-like star, some of the around 600 light years away from Earth.
The discovery was made by measuring and after appraising the mass of the planet using the indigenously designed ‘PRL Advance Radial-velocity Abu-Sky Search’ (PARAS) spectrograph integrated with 1.2m telescope at PRL’s Gurushikar Observatory in Mount Abu.
With this discovery, India has joined a bandwagons group of the developed nations, which has discovered planets around stars.
In an article of the official media portal of the Indian Space Research Organisation, scientists stated the name of the host star, which is the EPIC 211945201 or K2-236 and the planet will be also regarded as the EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b.
This planet was found to go around the star in about 19.5 days reportedly.
The surface temperature of the planet was seen to be around 600 degrees Celsius, which is damn close to the host star. It is 7 times nearer to its star when the comparison of the planet done with the Earth-Sun distance. This might make it not fit to live in.
The discovery is very crucial for understanding the formation mechanism of such super-Neptune or sub-Saturn kind of planets that are very close to the host star, the scientists quoted the same.
Paras spectrograph made a self-determining and an independent measurement of the mass of the planet body, which is also very necessary for discovery post data come from the Nasa’s K2 (Kepler2) photometry which will not able to confirm the planetary nature of the system also.
To begin with, it was Nasa’s K2 (Kepler2) photometry that found that the source was a planetary applicant because this was transiting, where the planet body arrives between the star and the observer on Earth.
It goes around the star which also blocks a tiny amount of star-light. By calculating and measuring the amount of light blocked by the planet body, the diameter or size of the planet is also worth to be measured and the measurement can be done!
It was found to be 6 Earth radii. Though, that data was not adequate to confirm the planetary nature of the system.
The PRL scientists, who observed the target for about 1.5 years with the spectrograph to investigate the nature of the system, made calculations which also advised that the heavy elements like ice, silicates and iron content make 60%-70% of the total mass.
This detection was significant because of it adds to a light catalog of confirmed exoplanets with masses between 10 and 70 MEarth and radii between 4 and 8 REarth, whose masses and radii can be measured to an accuracy of 50% or better.
Only 23 such systems (including the present) are being recognized to this date with such precise measurement of mass and radii.