Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

ISRO’s PRL scientists discover an ‘EPIC’ planet

ISRO’s PRL scientists discover an ‘EPIC’ planet

A scientific team lead by Professor Abhijit Chakraborty of Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad has made a remarkable discovery.

According to the website of the Indian Space Research Organisation, scientists have said that the planet revolves around a sun-like star. They integrated the spectrograph with a 1.2m telescope at PRL's Gurushikar Observatory in Mount Abu, to measure the mass of the planet, leading to the discovery. It's a super-Neptune or sub-Saturn size, which is of 27X Earth's mass and 6X Earth's radius. It is closer to Neptune, he added. The gravitational pull by any planet caused its sun-like stars to wobble around their common center of mass. The find sees India join a small group of countries to have confirmed a planet outside our Solar System.

The next red dwarf is known as K2-240 and has two Super-Earth like planets, and they are twice the size of our plane. The name of the star is EPIC 211945201 or K2-236 and the planet is EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b.

Scientists of the Canary Institute of astrophysics and the University of Oviedo have discovered a planetary system where three planets earth-like type.

This is the first of its kind spectrograph in India with a resolution of 60,000 which can measure the mass of a planet going around a star. The star's effective temperature is estimated at 3,450 Kelvin degrees, which is almost one and a half times less than that of the sun.

Researchers have determined that the atmospheric temperature of these two red dwarf stars approaches between 3,450 and 3,800 K which is much less than our own sun, with only half of its intensity.

On the other hand, only a few such accurate and powerful spectrographs exist around the world, the majority of which being in the United States and Europe. All these planets apparently do not reside in their stars' habitable zone as they are orbiting very close to their red dwarfs. 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. As this system is reported to feature three rocky planets that are the same size as Earth, astronomers are taking notice.

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