Planet 600 Light Years Away From Earth Discovered by Indian Scientists

Christopher Davidson
June 11, 2018

There will be future observation campaigns with the new James Webb space telescope that will aim to characterise the composition of the atmospheres of the newly discovered planets, the researchers said.

That solar system, which orbits the star K2-239, is located about 160 lightyears away and can be found inside the constellation Sextans (the Sextant, naturally).

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 is being reported that when it comes to the temperature of the three planets that are the same size as Earth, this is where the similarity ends as they would nearly certainly have surface temperatures that are much higher than our planet owing to the intense radiation given by the red dwarf star they orbit.

The exoplanet is reported to be smaller than Saturn but bigger than Neptune. The exoplanet is around 27 times the mass of Earth and has six times the radius of our planet. It takes them six and 20 days, respectively, to make a complete revolution around the star.

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They spent a year a half at PRL's Gurushikhar Observatory in Mount Abu, India, studying the changes in light coming from the planet's host star, EPIC 211945201 or K2-236, and performing an independent confirmation of its mass.

Indian researchers at Physics Research Laboratory (PRL), for the first time, have succeeded in detecting a planet revolving around a star. It was designed by the members of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Division of PRL. Very few such spectrographs exist around the world (mostly in the United States of America and in the Europe) that can do such precise measurements.

The scientists observed the target over a time 420 days or about 1.5 years.

According to SciTech Daily, John Grunsfeld, from NASA's Science Mission Directorate, explained that the Kepler spacecraft has yielded many surprises, and with the discovery of three new rocky planet, s we may be closer now to learning whether these other planetary systems may harbor life of some kind. But it does not necessarily mean that these planets are also habitable or have conditions necessary to support life. It's very hard to discover an exoplanet because they are usually billions of times fainter than the stars they orbit. This is what they have so far discovered.

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