Indian scientists discover planet 600 light years away from Earth

Scientists did not directly observe the planet but monitored the changes in the wavelength of light emitting from the star to deduce the presence of another body in its star system

Scientists did not directly observe the planet but monitored the changes in the wavelength of light emitting from the star to deduce the presence of another body in its star system

Importantly, it placed India in a chosen league. Researchers at the Indian Lab have discovered an exoplanet (a planet outside our solar system), larger than Neptune but smaller than Saturn, around 600 light years away from Earth. The exoplanet is around 27 times the mass of Earth and has six times the radius of our planet. This is the first of its kind spectrograph in the country, which can measure the mass of a planet moving around a star. The name of the star is EPIC 211945201 or K2-236 and the planet is EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b. It goes around the star in about 19.5 days. The Kepler satellite also found another star, a red dwarf variety, called K2-240, with two super-Earth-like planets about twice the size of our planet. The discovery was made by measuring the mass of the planet using the indigenously designed "PRL Advance Radial-velocity Abu-sky Search" (PARAS) spectrograph, integrated with a 1.2m telescope at PRL's Gurushikhar Observatory in Mount Abu.

They estimate that all the planets discovered will have temperatures at least tens of degrees higher than those of the planet Earth due to the strong radiation they receive in their close orbits to their star. The discovery of the planet is important in understanding the formation of similar super-Neptune or sub-Saturn kind of planets, that are too close to the host star, the statement said. There are only 23 systems known to scientists (including this discovery) where the mass of the exoplanet is between 10-70 times that of the Earth and the radius of 4-8 times the radius of Earth.

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