Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Newly Discovered Sub-Saturn Planet Has Only 19.5 Days In A Year

Newly Discovered Sub-Saturn Planet Has Only 19.5 Days In A Year

Indian researchers at Physics Research Laboratory (PRL), for the first time, have succeeded in detecting a planet revolving around a star. This announcement was done by the Indian Research Space Organisation (ISRO) on June 8, 2018. The researchers found the it has a compact system of at least three rocky planets of similar size to the Earth that orbit the star in much less time than earth does the Sun, being every 5.2, 7.8 and 10.1 days, respectively. 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. It can be found in the Sextant constellation and is 160 light years away from our own sun.

This discovery has been considered important as it is going to help for understanding the super-Neptune. Scientists have named the host star as EPIC 211945201 or K2-236 and the planet as EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b. The surface temperature is quite high and is estimated to be around 600 degree Celsius.

Astronomers from the Spanish University of Oviedo according to the telescope "Kepler" has come to the conclusion that in space there are two new planetary systems and three earth-like planets. A PARAS is a special kind of spectrograph that has a 1.2m telescope to locate such space objects. Additionally, Kepler has revealed the existence of another 2,245 planets. Isro said very few such spectrographs exist around the world (mostly in the United States and Europe) that can do such precise measurements. "Over the next few years, I expect that they will be able to make further contributions to this exciting field of astronomy".

Based on the planet's physical properties, calculations suggested that heavy elements like ice, silicates and iron comprise 60 to 70 percent of its total mass. All these planets apparently do not reside in their stars' habitable zone as they are orbiting very close to their red dwarfs. The planet's environment is not suitable to support any kind of life forms, however, its size and mass are what holds the importance. The PRL scientists observed the target over a time-baseline of 420 days (in about 1.5 years) using the PARAS spectrograph for probing the nature of the system.

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

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