NASA Kepler satellite uncovers solar system with three Earth-sized planets

NASA Kepler satellite uncovers solar system with three Earth-sized planets

PRL, described as the cradle of space sciences in India, conducts fundamental research in a host of physical sciences including astronomy and space. This planet has been discovered by using the advance radical velocity Abu-sky search technology of PRL. It is closer to Neptune, he added. Researchers at the Indian Lab have discovered an exoplanet (a planet outside our solar system), larger than Neptune but smaller than Saturn, around 600 light years away from Earth. The discovery of the planet is important in understanding the formation of similar super-Neptune or sub-Saturn kind of planets, that are too close to the host star, the statement said. With this, India joins the elite club of countries that have discovered planets.

Another red dwarf - K2-240 - there are two super-earths, in each of which the diameter exceeds the Earth twice. Scientists have named the host star as EPIC 211945201 or K2-236 and the planet as EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b.

ISRO website states that the 1.2 m InfraRed Telescope at Mount Abu is the first major facility in India that is specifically designed for ground-based infrared observations of celestial objects.

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Researchers have determined that the atmospheric temperature of these two red dwarf stars approaches between 3,450 and 3,800 K which is much less than our own sun, with only half of its intensity. 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 quest to find life beyond Earth has led to the discovery of two new planetary systems.

Based on the planet's physical properties, calculations suggested that heavy elements like ice, silicates and iron comprise 60 to 70 percent of its total mass. These type of spectrographs exist mostly in the United States of America and in the Europe that can do such precise measurements. Abhijeet Chakraborty. Researchers briefed that this planet has 600-degree Celsius temperature on its surface. The PRL scientists observed the target over a time-baseline of 420 days (in about 1.5 years) using the PARAS spectrograph for probing the nature of the system.

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