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India Has Discovered an Amazing Planet Where a Year Lasts Just 19.5 Days

2018-06-12 15:50:00
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Summary :India Has Discovered an Amazing Planet Where a Year Lasts Just 19.5 Days
In an exciting first, Indian scientists have discovered a sub-Saturn exoplanet orbiting a Sun-like star around 600 light-years away.The planet has been named EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b and it's big - around 27 times more massive than Earth. The find sees India join a small group of countries to have confirmed a planet outside our Solar System.Exoplanets themselves aren't that rare these days - we have confirmed the existence of 3,786 of them.But the vast majority (~2,600) have been spotted and then confirmed as planets by NASA's Kepler space telescope.This latest planet was also first spotted and listed as a candidate planet by Kepler, but it was a team of Indian scientists that confirmed it was a planet, rather than simply a comet or another astronomical object - which is the tricky part.The team was led by Abhijit Chakraborty from the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad.They spent a year a half at PRL's Gurushikhar Observatory in Mount Abu, India, studying the changes in light coming from the planet's host star, EPIC 211945201 or K2-236, and performing an independent confirmation of its mass."We report here strong evidence for a sub-Saturn around EPIC 211945201 and confirm its planetary nature," the team reports in the American Astronomical Society's Astronomical Journal.While the planet is orbiting a Sun-like star, it's also roughly more than seven times closer to its star than Earth is to the Sun, which means the temperature could be around 600 degrees Celsius and likely too hot and dry to support life.
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