Astronomers spot a trio of Earth-sized planets orbiting a distant star

Scientists Discover New Planet'EPIC 211945201 600 Light Years Away at Mount Abu Observatory

The discovery of new planets holds importance as it helps us understand the formation mechanism of super-Neptune or sub-Saturn type of planets that are extremely close to the host star.

The scientists found that the host star is about 600 light years away from Earth and the planet goes around the star in 19.5 days.

"With this discovery India has joined a handful of countries which have discovered planets around stars", PRL's parent Indian Space Research Organisation has announced. The name of the star is EPIC 211945201 or K2-236 and the planet is EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b.

The exoplanet is reported to be smaller than Saturn but bigger than Neptune.

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Chennai: The scientists of PRL, Ahmedabad discovered a new planet (exoplanet) using PARAS spectrograph on Mt. Abu.

The planets are a close match to Earth in size, but they're positioned much, much closer to their star than Earth is to the Sun. These type of spectrographs exist mostly in the U.S. and in the Europe that can do such precise measurements. 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. Now, a trio of new rocky worlds has been discovered orbiting a distant star, and while they're a lot like Earth in terms of size, they're a bit steamier. The PRL scientists observed the target for around 420 days for probing the nature of the system using the PARAS spectrograph. Its surface is around 600 degree Celsius and is very close to the host star.

However, calculations suggest that the heavy elements, ice, silicates, and iron content are 60-70 % of the total mass. By measuring the amount of light blocked by the planet body, we can measure the diameter or size of the planet. This is what they have so far discovered.

According to a report by ISRO, the new planet is a sub-Saturn or super-Neptune sized planet around a Sun-like star, as reported by India Today. However, he said, radial velocity observations as made in this case "are not, in general, discovery observations but [a] look at already known planetary systems for a better understanding of their nature".

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