Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Indian scientists discover exoplanet 600 light years away

Scientists Discover New Planet'EPIC 211945201 600 Light Years Away at Mount Abu Observatory Exoplanet
Doris Mccormick | 12 June, 2018, 03:01

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. They have detected a sub-Saturn or sub-Neptune like planet revolving around a Sun-like star. "It's closer to Neptune", he said. The star is located in the constellation of the Sextant, at nearly 160 light years from the sun. The gravitational pull by any planet caused its sun-like stars to wobble around their common center of mass.

Researchers at the PRL believes that the discovery of such planets will help them to study the formation of sub-Neptune or sub-Saturn like planets. This has listed India among the countries which have discoveries of planets to their credit. Those worlds - which like the first system, orbit a red dwarf - are known as super Earths. The atmospheric temperature of the red dwarf stars is said to be around the planets which may revolve and is about 3,450 and 3,800 K respectively. That means that, despite the incredibly close proximity of the three exoplanets to their host star, the surface temperature of the Earth-sized worlds may only be "tens of degrees higher", according to the scientists.

PARAS was integrated with a 1.2m telescope at PRL's Gurushikhar Observatory in Mount Abu, India. 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. Isro said very few such spectrographs exist around the world (mostly in the U.S. and Europe) that can do such precise measurements.

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A total of seven Earth-size planets were found there, three of which are in the so-dubbed "habitable zone".

There are only a handful of nations that have the capability to explore regions so far away, let alone discover entirely new planets. The PRL scientists observed the target for around 420 days for probing the nature of the system using the PARAS spectrograph.

Specifically, the PARAS made it possible for the scientists to measure how planet EPIC correlates to the amplitude produced when its host star responds to its orbit. These are also called "extrasolar planets".

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