Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Science | By

Earth-like planets discovered, NASA Says

Earth-like planets discovered, NASA Says

The team was led by Abhijit Chakraborty from the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad. ISRO has issued a detailed report on this discovery.

The Indian team from the PRL employed their "PRL Advance Radial-velocity Abu-sky Search" (PARAS) spectrograph with which they measured the mass of the new exoplanet.

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. "It's closer to Neptune", he said. The gravitational pull by any planet caused its sun-like stars to wobble around their common center of mass. Although this distance might mean that the planet is uninhabitable, the discovery is still significant for understanding the formation of such super-Neptune or sub-Saturn kind of planets that are too close to the host star. India has joined the elite club of a handful of countries with this discovery of new planets around stars.

In the journey for finding more Earth-like planets, scientists from the "Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias" (IAC) and the University of Oviedo in Spain have gathered data collected by the Kepler telescope on a red dwarf star, dubbed as K2-239. The atmospheric temperature of the red dwarf stars is said to be around the planets which may revolve and is about 3,450 and 3,800 K respectively. Also, they are extremely far away. 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.

Specifically, the PARAS made it possible for the scientists to measure how planet EPIC correlates to the amplitude produced when its host star responds to its orbit.

On the other hand, only a few such accurate and powerful spectrographs exist around the world, the majority of which being in the USA and Europe.

The planet orbits a Sun-like star 600 light-years away. Spectroscopic observations with the ESPRESSO instrument, installed in the Very Large Telescope (VLT), of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), or with future spectrographs in the GTC or in new astronomical facilities, such as the ELT or the TMT, will be crucial to determine the masses, densities and physical properties of these planets.

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