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Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Research | By Jennifer Evans

India discovers new planet where a year ends in 19.5 days

India discovers new planet where a year ends in 19.5 days

PRL, described as the cradle of space sciences in India, conducts fundamental research in a host of physical sciences including astronomy and space. ISRO has issued a detailed report on this discovery.

For the first time, India joined a select group of countries which have found planets around stars with the discovery of what is known as a sub-Saturn or super-Neptune-sized planet having a radius that is six times that of earth, Isro announced on Friday.

Being that close, you might think that the planets would be unbearably hot but the scientists say that might not be the case. The first includes star K2-239, which is a red dwarf and remote from the Sun for up to 160 light years.

While the heat on the planet makes it uninhabitable, its discovery is important to help understand "the formation mechanism of such super-Neptune or sub-Saturn kind of planets that are too close to the host star". The name of the planet is EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b.

The PARAS reads the entire electromagnetic spectrum from microwave to infrared radiation which allows the scientists to read the composition of the planet, surface temperature, and the nature of the atmosphere.

On the other hand, only a few such accurate and powerful spectrographs exist around the world, the majority of which being in the USA and Europe.

Paras spectrograph has also made independent measurements of the mass of the planet body as data from Nasa's K2 (Kepler2) photometry could not confirm the nature of the system. Also, they are extremely far away. Now, a trio of new rocky worlds has been discovered orbiting a distant star, and while they're a lot like Earth in terms of size, they're a bit steamier.

However, calculations suggest that the heavy elements, ice, silicates, and iron content are 60-70 % of the total mass. They will also determine masses, densities and other physical properties of the planets that have found by using the ESPRESSO instrument (which is installed in the Very Large Telescope) at the European Southern Observatory (ESO). This planet revolves around a Sun-like start in its solar system.

Otherwise, the planets are probably inhospitable: they are very close to their star and therefore very warm.

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