A new study conducted by a group of researchers at the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) at Ahmadabad in India has reportedly found a new sub-Saturn sized exoplanet orbiting a sun-like host star.
The parent star is located near about six hundred light years ahead and the newly discovered planet takes a complete orbit around it once in about 19.5 days. The planet’s diameter is near about six times greater in comparison to that of our Earth. As the planet is located extremely close to its host star, its surface temperature is estimated to be about six hundred degree Celsius. As reported by the researchers, the planet is almost seven times closer to its parent star as compared to the distance of our Earth from the Sun. This condition could make the planet unfit for the survival of life on it.
This newly identified exoplanet has been named as EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b and its parent star is known as EPIC 211945201 or K2-236.
This new discovery was made using the PRL Advance Radial-velocity Abu-sky Search (PARAS) spectrograph, which reportedly has been developed in the country itself. The PARAS spectroscopy has been integrated with a 1.2 meters Telescope at PRL’s Gurushikhar Observatory in Mount Abu, India.
With this new discovery, India has joined the “elite league” of nations that have successfully identified planets orbiting around a host star. According to the scientists, this discovery is an important step to understand clearly the mechanism of evolution of similar sub-Saturn or super-Neptune sized planets, which lie too nearer to their parent star.
The Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi congratulated and gave his best wishes to the research team that was involved in the discovery. He posted on his twitter handle, “Immensely proud of our scientists, who created history by discovering a sub-Saturn size planet 600 light years away from the Earth. Congratulations to them. The discovery puts India among select countries.”