India is rapidly growing in the field of science and astronomy these days. Our contribution to the space-related studies and researches has dramatically increased in past few decades. Many scientists have come ahead to provide invaluable information about what goes around in the outer space.

Abhijit Chakraborty

A Gujarat base scientist named Abhijit Chakraborty has come ahead to claim a new exoplanet that his team has discovered. This is the first ever exoplanet discovery to happen in India and places our country in a very small group of countries who have this honour.

As per HT, Abhijit Chakraborty of the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad, spent one and half years studying data on the light emitted by the planet’s host star, EPIC 211945201 or K2-236. The planet will be called EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b.

A research paper accepted for publication in American Astronomical Society’s Astronomical Journal read as saying-

“We report here strong evidence for a sub-Saturn around EPIC 211945201 and confirm its planetary nature.”

The exoplanet has been found to be orbiting a star 600 light years away from earth. The scientists did not directly observe the planet but monitored the changes in the wavelength of the light emitting from the star to deduce the presence of another body in its star system. Genius right?

EPIC 211945201b

This was made possible by the commissioning of the PRL Advance Radial-velocity Abu-sky Search” (PARAS), a precise and stabilised high-resolution spectrograph that was integrated with the 1.2m Telescope at PRL’s Gurushikhar Observatory in Mount Abu, Rajasthan.

As per HT report, The surface temperature on EPIC 211945201b is around 600 degrees C, because it is 7 times closer to its host star, than earth is from the sun, making it a less likely candidate to host life.

Anil Bhardwaj who is the director of PRL said that exoplanet discovery has become one of the most exciting areas of research. As of June 2nd, 3786 exoplanets have been discovered.

Isn’t that so exciting?