India achieves a new height, discovers new planet

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Even more, the scientists calculated that the planet completes a full orbit around its star in only about 20 Earth days. With this, India joins the elite club of countries that have discovered planets. It can be found in the Sextant constellation and is 160 light years away from our own sun.

In a post on its website, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said that the name of the planet is EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b.

The quest to find life beyond Earth has led to the discovery of two new planetary systems.

Indigenously designed "PRL Advance Radial-velocity Abu-Sky Search" (PARAS) spectrograph integrated with a 1.2m telescope, was used to measure the mass of the planet, which facilitated the discovery of the planet.

The exoplanet is reported to be smaller than Saturn but bigger than Neptune. The planet is about 27 times the mass of Earth and six times the radius of Earth.

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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.

Importantly, this discovery could help scientists understand how these types of planets form so close to their host star. The detection also adds to a sparse catalogue of 22 other confirmed exoplanet systems that have a mass and radius in this range, ISRO said.

The other red dwarf star called K2-240 has two super-Earth-like planets about twice the size of our planet. Indian researchers have detected this planet and have estimated its mass and size with more than 50% precision. 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.

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. PRL scientists, who observed the target for about 1.5 years with the spectrograph, made calculations which suggested that heavy elements like ice, silicates and iron content make 60%-70% of the total mass.

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