The Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO is space organisation working under the funding of Government of India. Established in August of 1969, they are headquartered in Bangalore, India. Recently they made headlines when with help of there spectrograph (PARAS) they discovered a Sub-Saturn exoplanet.
PARAS or PRL Advance Radial-velocity All-sky Search is Made in India spectrograph integrated with 1.2m telescope at Physical Research Laboratory’s Gurushikar Observatory in Mount Abu, India.
Physical Research Laboratory’s(PRL’s), Ahmedabad scientific team led by Prof Abhijit Chakraborty found a sub- Saturn or super-Neptune size planet which has a mass about 27 Earth and can fit 6 Earth into it. ISRO decided to name the planet EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b. The host star is EPIC 211945201 or K2-236 and is about 600 light years away from earth. This means light would take 600 years to travel to us from this planet, which is essentially seeing what planet must have looked like 600 years ago.
This planet is Inhabitable because of the proximity of the planet and its host star, which is 7 times nearer than the distance between earth to the sun and also makes the surface temperature of the planet to rise to scorching 600°C, these are the temperature at which metals like Aluminium start melting. Also, one year on this planet last about 19.5 days which is essentially the time it takes to revolve around the EPIC, its host star.
When a planet revolves around its host star, it creates a wobble around their common centre of mass due to its gravitational pull. This wobble shifts the spectra of light coming from the star which is measured in terms of Radial Velocity using precise and stabilised High Resolution Spectrographs, like PARAS. By measuring the amplitude of wobbling of the star, the mass of the planet is found.
This is another proud moment for all Indians, now India is in few numbers of country that have discovered new exoplanets.
To see the official ISRO blog post click here