Indian researchers at Physics Research Laboratory (PRL), for the first time, have succeeded in detecting a planet revolving around a star.
The indigenously designed spectrograph named PRL Advance Radial-velocity Abu-Sky Search (PARAS) integrated with a 1.2-metre telescope at PRL's Gurushikar Observatory in Mount Abu aided the researchers in finding the exoplanet.
The discovery of new planets holds importance as it helps us understand the formation mechanism of super-Neptune or sub-Saturn type of planets that are extremely close to the host star. The detection also adds to a sparse catalogue of 22 other confirmed exoplanet systems that have a mass and radius in this range, ISRO said.
The star the planets orbit is located in the constellation of the Sextant at 50 parsecs from the Sun - that means it's about 160 light years away. The gravitational pull by any planet caused its sun-like stars to wobble around their common center of mass.
In the second system the main star is a red dwarf with an effective temperature of 3800 Kelvin.
The surface temperature of the planet is around 600C as it is very close to the host star (7 times nearer than Earth-Sun distance).
Using that data, PRL scientists who've been observing the planet for over a year now, claim that ice, iron and other heavy elements account for 60-70% of the planet's mass.
Specifically, the PARAS made it possible for the scientists to measure how planet EPIC correlates to the amplitude produced when its host star responds to its orbit.
The PARAS is the first spectrograph of its kind in India.
The quest to find life beyond Earth has led to the discovery of two new planetary systems. Isro said very few such spectrographs exist around the world that allows such precise measurements. These are also called "extrasolar planets". This is what they have so far discovered. The observations which will be done with VLT, future spectrographs in the GTC or with European Southern Observatory (ESO) is said to crucial as they determine the masses, physical properties, and densities of these planets.
Since it closely rotates around a hot star, the planet bears a temperature of around 600 degree centigrade.