With a new discovery, India will now be counted amongst those countries that have been successful in finding out a new planet. A sub-Saturn or super-Neptune size planet that is about 27 times the mass of earth and six times the radius is discovered by a team of scientists from Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad. It is around 600 light years away from earth and revolves around a sun-like star in about 19.5 days.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists named the host star as EPIC 211945201 or K2-236 and it would be known as EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b according to the post on their website.
‘PRL Advance Radial-velocity Abu-Sky Search’ (PARAS) A native design of spectrograph incorporated with 1.2m telescope at PRL’s Gurushikar Observatory in Mount Abu was used to make the discovery by measuring the mass of the planet.
While revolving around the star it blocks a tiny amount of starlight. This blocked light was then measured to get the diameter or size of the planet, which was calculated to be 6 Earth radii. However, this data was not enough to ensure the planetary nature of this celestial body.
PRL observed it for about 1.5 years and made calculations which tell us that the planet’s 60%-70% mass contains heavy elements like ice, silicates, and iron.
The facts that have already been discovered confirms its addition into the list of sparse exoplanets (23 till now) with the mass between MEarth and radii between 4 and 8 REearth, whose mass and radii specifications have been calculated which is almost 50% precise
The planet is close to its host star hence the temperature there is around 600 degrees Celsius. In comparison, it is seven times nearer to its star than Earth is to the sun. This closeness to its star makes it uninhabitable.
Scientists claim that this discovery would help them in analyzing the mechanism of the existence of such stars which are too close to their host star.