Researchers discover a system with three Earth-sized planets


A group of scientists working in the Physical research laboratory of Ahmedabad (PRL) has discovered a new planet.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has a detailed report on how the scientists made the breakthrough. According to ISRO, the newly found planet rotates around a star similar to the sun, and takes 19.5 days to complete one rotation.

With this discovery, India has joined the list of a few countries that have discovered their own planets. Hence the planet will be known as EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b. The host star is named EPIC 211945201 or K2-236.

They estimate that all the planets discovered will have temperatures at least tens of degrees higher than those of the planet Earth due to the strong radiation they receive in their close orbits to their star. The mass and the radius of the planet help to suggest that 60%-70% of the total mass consists of ice, silicates, and iron contents. A PARAS is a special kind of spectrograph that has a 1.2m telescope to locate such space objects.

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There are only a handful of nations that have the capability to explore regions so far away, let alone discover entirely new planets. "Very few such spectrographs exist around the world (mostly in the United States of America and in the Europe) that can do such precise measurements", the space agency said on its website late on June 8. The planet's environment is not suitable to support any kind of life forms, however, its size and mass are what holds the importance. They will also determine masses, densities and other physical properties of the planets that have found by using the ESPRESSO instrument (which is installed in the Very Large Telescope) at the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the University of Oviedo presented the discovery of two new planetary systems, one of them hosting three planets with the same size of the Earth.

The planet orbits a Sun-like star 600 light-years away.

Dr. Murthy said, "The work done by Dr. Chakraborty and his collaborators is important in characterising the nature of the exoplanet and they were able to show that the candidate is a close to Saturn-size planet orbiting near its star".