Physics Research Laboratory (PRL) which is supported by ISRO has explored a new planet named EPIC which is 600 light years away from the earth.
It has been discovered that the planet is 6 times larger than the earth and the planet is 27 times the mass of earth and it takes just 19.5 days to complete a revolution. The planet is bigger than Neptune but smaller than Saturn. The surface temperature of the planet is estimated to be around 600 degree Celsius which means there is no possibility of any inhabitants on the planet. The PRL scientists observed the planet for over 1.5 years.
The 1.2m telescope, PRL Advance Radial-velocity Abu-sky Search or PARAS, a space observatory was put to use from the Gurushikhar Observatory in Mount Abu, Rajasthan. Main feature of the telescope PARAS is that it just not only calculates the distance but also provides the measurements of mass, temperature and atmospheric conditions. The scientists estimate that over 60% of its mass could be made up of heavy elements like silicates and iron.
“With this discovery, India has joined a handful of countries which have discovered planets around stars “ISRO announced. This is the first of its kind spectrograph in the country, which can measure the mass of a planet going around a star. We have reached the elite group of countries which can precisely measure the mass of the planets.
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. And the mass of the planet itself is 27 times that of the Earth.
Though unique in its own way, this ‘epic’ planet is one of 22 other confirmed exoplanet systems with the same dimensions. Furthermore, it’s one of the billions that’s currently uninhabited. Nonetheless, it could hold the key towards understanding how planetary systems are formed.