A team of scientists and engineers of Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad have discovered a sub-Saturn or super-neputune size planet around a Sun-like star. The planet discovered by the team led by Prof. Abhijit Chakraborty for PRL will be known as EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b. The mass of the new planet is about 27 Earth mass ; and its size about of six Earth radii.
The discovery gains significance as it helps the scientists to understand the formation mechanism of such super-Neptune or sub-Saturn kind of planets, that are too close to the host star and as well as planet formations around Sun-like stars.
The official statement said that was made by measuring the mass of the planet using the indigenously designed “PRL Advance Radial-velocity Abu-sky Search” (PARAS) spectrograph integrated with 1.2m Telescope at PRL’s Gurushikhar Observatory in Mount Abu, India.
“Only 23 such planetary systems (including this discovery) are known to this date with masses between 10 and 70 Earth mass and size of 4 to 8 Earth radii with such precise measurement of mass,” the statement said.
With this discovery, India has joined a handful of countries, which have discovered planets around stars beyond our solar system. Further, PARAS is the first of its kind spectrograph in Asia, which can measure the mass of a planet going around a star. Very few spectrographs exist around the world that can do such precise measurements, the statement added.
The research work has also been published in Astronomical Journal of the American Astronomical Society.