India achieves a new height, discovers new planet

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A group of scientists working in the Physical research laboratory of Ahmedabad (PRL) has discovered a new planet. ISRO has issued a detailed report on this discovery. 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.

Speaking to reporters, Chakraborty said the new planet, which is 600 light years away from Earth, is between the size of Saturn and Neptune. Significantly, the discovery was made using a PRL-designed spectrograph, PARAS, to measure and confirm the mass of the new planet.

With this discovery, India is now among the league of countries that have discovered planets around stars. The star's effective temperature is estimated at 3,450 Kelvin degrees, which is almost one and a half times less than that of the sun. A PARAS is a special kind of spectrograph that has a 1.2m telescope to locate such space objects.

The PARAS reads the entire electromagnetic spectrum from microwave to infrared radiation which allows the scientists to read the composition of the planet, surface temperature, and the nature of the atmosphere. 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. "Over the next few years, I expect that they will be able to make further contributions to this exciting field of astronomy".

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That's why the discovery of this super-Neptune planet is of great importance for the Indian astronomers as it is the first exoplanet this country's scientists have ever identified on their own.

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

The other system has two much larger planets.

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. The observations which will be done with VLT, future spectrographs in the GTC or with European Southern Observatory (ESO) is said to crucial as they determine the masses, physical properties, and densities of these planets.

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