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Indian Scientists Discover New Planet 600 Light Years Away

Indian Scientists Discover New Planet 600 Light Years Away

Christened the EPIC 211945201b, the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad not only found a new planet in the deep recesses of space but was also able to measure its mass.

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

The discovery of new planets holds importance as it helps us understand the formation mechanism of super-Neptune or sub-Saturn type of planets that are extremely close to the host star. "It's closer to Neptune", he said. It is revolving around a star which is 600 light years away from the Earth. Such a high temperature might make it uninhabitable for living creatures.

With this discovery, India is now among the league of countries that have discovered planets around stars. The name of the star is EPIC 211945201 or K2-236 and the planet is EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b. A PARAS is a special kind of spectrograph that has a 1.2m telescope to locate such space objects. Although the atmospheric temperature of red dwarf stars, around which these planets revolve, is 3,450 and 3,800 K respectively, nearly half the temperature of our Sun. These type of spectrographs exist mostly in the US and in the Europe that can do such precise measurements. The scientists estimate that over 60% of its mass could be made up of heavy elements like ice, silicates and iron.

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With the new planet's calculated orbit around its sun-like star, it is estimated that a year on this planet ends in about 19.5 days.

There are only a handful of nations that have the capability to explore regions so far away, let alone discover entirely new planets. This is the first of its kind spectrograph in the country, which can measure the mass of a planet moving around a star.

Though unique in its own way, this "epic" planet is one of 22 other confirmed exoplanet systems with the same dimensions. The observations which will be done with VLT, future spectrographs in the GTC or with European Southern Observatory (ESO) is said to crucial as they determine the masses, physical properties, and densities of these planets. Abhijeet Chakraborty. Researchers briefed that this planet has 600-degree Celsius temperature on its surface.


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