In a development that would put India on the list of a handful of countries that have discovered similar astral bodies beyond the solar system.
A team of scientists and engineers led by Prof Abhijit Chakraborty of Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad, have discovered a sub-Saturn or super-Neptune size planet (mass of about 27 times that of the Earth and a radius six times) around a Sun-like star. The planet will be known as EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b, the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) said.
Newly discovered planet would be in a size of sub-Saturn or super-Neptune sized planet around a Sun-like star. This research work has appeared online in the Astronomical Journal of the American Astronomical Society and published by IOP publishing.
The discovery was made by measuring the mass of the planet using the indigenously designed “PRL Advance Radial-velocity Abu-sky Search” (PARAS) spectrograph integrated with a 1.2 m Telescope at PRL’s Gurushikhar Observatory in Mount Abu. PARAS is a first-of-its-kind spectrograph in Asia, capable of measuring the mass of a planet orbiting a star.
Only 23 such planetary systems (including this discovery) are known to this date, with masses between 10 and 70 times that of the Earth and a size of four to eight Earth radii, with such precise measurement of mass. This discovery is critical for understanding the formation mechanism of super-Neptune or sub-Saturn planets that lie too close to the host star and other planet formations around large stars.