Indian scientists, in an incredible feat, discovered an exoplanet that orbits around a star similar to the Sun, about six hundred light years away from Earth.
The planet has been named EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b. With this discovery, India joins other countries that have confirmed a planet outside of our solar system. The exoplanet sub Saturn is almost 27 times larger than our planet of origin.
The vast majority of around 2,600 exoplanets has been confirmed by NASA's Kepler space telescope. India's latest find was also previously seen as a potential candidate by Kepler. However, a team of experts led by Abhijit Chakraborty of the Physical Research Laboratory of Ahmedabad confirmed it as a planet against any other celestial object.
For more than a year, the team studied the changing patterns of light emanating from the planet's host star (K2 -236) at the Gurushikhar Observatory in Mount Abu.
According to a report in The Astronomical Journal, the team said: "We report here strong evidence of a sub Saturn around EPIC 211945201 and confirm its planetary nature."
It has been discovered that the planet is seven times closer to its parent star compared to us, which means that a year equals just 19.5 days. The distance from the star also indicates that the temperature of the planet's surface is approximately 600 degrees Celsius. The discovery says that India also has the technology to detect and confirm planets outside of its solar system.
- The exoplanet sub Saturn is almost 27 times larger than our home planet
- The temperature of the planet's surface is approximately 600 degree Celsius
- The most recent find of India was also previously seen as a potential candidate by Kepler