PRL, described as the cradle of space sciences in India, conducts fundamental research in a host of physical sciences including astronomy and space. The planet that revolves around the sun was discovered by measuring its mass by "PRL Advance Radial-velocity Abu-Sky Search" (PARAS) spectrograph integrated with 1.2m telescope at PRL's Gurushikar Observatory in Mount Abu. 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. The researchers also found three Earth-sized planets within the K2-239 system, situated at 160 light years from Earth. This has listed India among the countries which have discoveries of planets to their credit. The Kepler satellite also found another star, a red dwarf variety, called K2-240, with two super-Earth-like planets about twice the size of our planet.
It takes only 19.5 days for the planet to complete one revolution around its parent star, EPIC 211945201 (or K2-236). These researchers estimate that all planets discovered will have temperatures superficial tens of degrees higher than those of the planet Earth due to the strong radiation they receive in these close orbits to their stars.
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The PARAS is the first spectrograph of its kind in India. Kepler is the first NASA mission capable of detecting Earth-size planets, using the transit method or tiny dips in the brightness of a star when a planet crosses in front of it. 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. This is what they have so far discovered.
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 PRL scientists observed the celestial objects over a time-baseline of 420 days (about 1.5 years) using the PARAS spectrograph to understand the nature of the star system.
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The other system has two much larger planets. All these planets apparently do not reside in their stars' habitable zone as they are orbiting very close to their red dwarfs.
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