A sub-Saturn or super-Neptune sized planet which has 27 times more mass and whose radius is six times more than that of the planet Earth has been discovered by a group of researchers from the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad.
Otherwise, the planets are probably inhospitable: they are very close to their star and therefore very warm. The information was released in the form of an ISRO press release. It is some 600 light years away from the Earth.
The discovery was made by measuring the mass of the planet using the indigenously designed "PRL Advance Radial-velocity Abu-Sky Search" spectrograph integrated with a 1.2m telescope at PRL's Gurushikar Observatory in Rajasthan's Mount Abu.
On the other hand, only a few such accurate and powerful spectrographs exist around the world, the majority of which being in the United States and Europe.
It is being reported that when it comes to the temperature of the three planets that are the same size as Earth, this is where the similarity ends as they would nearly certainly have surface temperatures that are much higher than our planet owing to the intense radiation given by the red dwarf star they orbit.
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. Since the planet revolves around host star EPIC 211945201 or K2-236, it will be known as EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b - ISRO said. Even more, the scientists calculated that the planet completes a full orbit around its star in only about 20 Earth days. Now, a trio of new rocky worlds has been discovered orbiting a distant star, and while they're a lot like Earth in terms of size, they're a bit steamier.
Going forward, the researchers plan to use the upcoming James Webb space telescope to investigate what the atmosphere of these new planets is like, which could give us a big clue as to whether or not they'd be able to support life.
However, The K2 photometric data combined with false positive probability calculations was not sufficient to confirm the planetary nature of the system. Such a high temperature might make it uninhabitable for living creatures.
The scientists observed the target over a time 420 days or about 1.5 years. This resulted in the inclusion of the planet in the list of other detected exoplanets that have a mass of 10-70 times the mass of the Earth and 4-8 times the radius of the Earth.