Pick of the Day : A New Planet Discovered 600 Light Years Away From Earth

In today’s Pick of the Day, for D’s Art Takes, I Divvya Nirula present my take on – “A New Planet Discovered 600 Light Years Away From Earth”.

The New Planet Discovered From Earth

A team of Indian scientists, under the guidance of Prof Abhijit Chakraborty at the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad, seem to have found an exoplanet.  Indian Research Space Organisation (ISRO)  announced on June 8, 2018.

According to ISRO, the new planet is a sub- Saturn sub-neptune planet, making it an exoplanet.

What is an exoplanet?

An exoplanet, is a planet which orbit a star outside the solar system. As a result, ‘exo’ implies that these are outside our solar system. It is extremely difficult to spot an exoplanet – as they appear really faint compared to a star, and are also very far away.

What does this new planet look like?

The name of the host star is EPIC 211945201 or K2-236. The planet is called  EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b.

It is 27 times the mass of Planet Earth and about six times bigger. The surface temperature is about 600°C, making it inhabitable. It revolves around a Sun-like star, some 600 light years away from Earth.

Furthermore, the planet completes one revolution around it’s star in 19.5 days. As a result, making its one year comprising of 19.5 days!

Ice, silicates, and iron are the elements, which makes up at least 60-70% of the total mass of this newly discovered planet.

How was the new planet discovered?

An indigenously designed spectograph ‘PRL Advance Radial-velocity Abu-Sky Search’ (PARAS), was integral in discovering this new exoplanet.

This spectograph integrates  with 1.2m telescope at PRL’s Gurushikar Observatory in Mount Abu, as a result making this discovery possible.

India is now a part of the league of a few select countries who have been able to discover planets around stars.


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