Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Earth-like planets discovered, NASA Says

Earth-like planets discovered, NASA Says

A group of scientists working in the Physical research laboratory of Ahmedabad (PRL) has discovered a new planet. "It's closer to Neptune", he said.

It's six times bigger than the Earth and over 600 light years away, and it's one of the most "epic" discoveries made by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

The gravitational pull caused by a planet on its host star makes it wobble around their common center of mass, which can be measured using high resolution spectrographs such as the PARAS.

This discovery has been considered important as it is going to help for understanding the super-Neptune. India has joined the elite club of a handful of countries with this discovery of new planets around stars. Hence the planet will be known as EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b. The host star's name is EPIC 211945201 or K2-236.

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PARAS was integrated with a 1.2m telescope at PRL's Gurushikhar Observatory in Mount Abu, India.

However, calculations suggest that the heavy elements, ice, silicates, and iron content are 60-70 % of the total mass. Therefore, an independent measurement of the mass of the body was necessary for the discovery, which was made by the PARAS spectrograph. Although the atmospheric temperature of red dwarf stars, around which these planets revolve, is 3,450 and 3,800 K respectively, nearly half the temperature of our Sun. Also, they are extremely far away.

The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the University of Oviedo presented the discovery of two new planetary systems, one of them hosting three planets with the same size of the Earth. "Very few such spectrographs exist around the world (mostly in the United States of America and in Europe) that can do such precise measurements", the official statement said.

The system K2-239 planetary system is composed of three rocky planets, as already mentioned, all of which are of the same size with the Earth but more turbulent and not appropriate for life, as they are orbiting very close to their star. These are also called "extrasolar 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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