System with three Earth-sized planets discovered

Indian scientists discover planet 600 light years away from Earth

Representative image | Pixabay

The researchers found the it has a compact system of at least three rocky planets of similar size to the Earth that orbit the star in much less time than earth does the Sun, being every 5.2, 7.8 and 10.1 days, respectively. It is seven times closer to the star as compared to the distance between the Earth and the Sun.

Ahmedabad, have discovered an exoplanet that is larger than Neptune but smaller than Saturn. Its mass is about 27 times Earth's and six times that of Earth at radius. One revolution around the sun planets do six and 20 days.

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The gravitational pull caused by a planet on its host star makes it wobble around their common center of mass, which shifts the spectra and can be measured in terms of Radial Velocity using precise and stabilised High Resolution Spectrographs, like the PARAS. Scientists have named the host star as EPIC 211945201 or K2-236 and the planet as EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b. The scientists estimate that over 60% of its mass could be made up of heavy elements like ice, silicates and iron.

ISRO website states that the 1.2 m InfraRed Telescope at Mount Abu is the first major facility in India that is specifically designed for ground-based infrared observations of celestial objects.

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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. These type of spectrographs exist mostly in the US and in the Europe that can do such precise measurements.

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. "Extra" implies that these are outside our solar system. This discovery is the first of its type that occurred on the Indian territory, placing the Asian country on the very selective list of the countries that discovered far-distant worlds.

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