The research team was led by Abhijit Chakraborty from the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad.
ISRO scientists have discovered an exoplanet orbiting a Sun-like star around 600 light-years.
The scientist named the planet EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b and it’s big – around 27 times more massive than Earth. The find sees India join a small group of countries to have confirmed a planet outside our Solar System.
This latest planet was first spotted and listed as a candidate planet by Kepler, but it was a team of ISRO scientists that confirmed it was a planet, rather than simply a comet or another astronomical object – which is the tricky part.
The team was led by Abhijit Chakraborty from the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad.
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.
“We report here strong evidence for a sub-Saturn around EPIC 211945201 and confirm its planetary nature,” the team reports in the American Astronomical Society’s Astronomical Journal.
While the planet is orbiting its host star, it’s also roughly more than seven times closer to its star than Earth is to the Sun, which means the temperature could be around 600 degrees Celsius and likely too hot and dry to support life.
Key specs of the EPIC 211945201:
- Mass: Around 27 times that of Earth’s.
- Radius: Around six times greater in radius.
- Host star: The planet orbits a Sun-like star 600 light-years away.
- One year: Roughly 19.5 days.
- Temperature: Surface temperature is roughly 600°C.
The planet confirmation has been published in The Astronomical Journal and you can read it in full over at arXiv.org. Read it