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A team of Indian scientists, under the guidance of Prof Abhijit Chakraborty of Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad, has found an exoplanet. They integrated the spectrograph with a 1.2m telescope at PRL's Gurushikar Observatory in Mount Abu, to measure the mass of the planet, leading to the discovery.

The planet is 27 times the mass of Earth and has six times the radius, while being located over 600 light years away. "It's closer to Neptune", he said.

The first such system is removed from the Sun about 160 light years. Significantly, the discovery was made using a PRL-designed spectrograph, PARAS, to measure and confirm the mass of the new planet.

The team was able to identify a super-Neptune exoplanet, that is a planet bigger than Neptune also known as a sub-Saturn exoplanet. India has joined the elite club of a handful of countries with this discovery of new planets around stars.

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Another red dwarf - K2-240 - there are two super-earths, in each of which the diameter exceeds the Earth twice.

In a post on its website, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said that the name of the planet is EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b. Additionally, Kepler has revealed the existence of another 2,245 planets. These type of spectrographs exist mostly in the United States of America and in the Europe that can do such precise measurements. Kepler is the first NASA mission capable of detecting Earth-size planets, using the transit method or tiny dips in the brightness of a star when a planet crosses in front of it.

Scientists of the Canary Institute of astrophysics and the University of Oviedo have discovered a planetary system where three planets earth-like type. The temperature of the surface of the newly-found planet is around 600 degrees Celsius. The mass and the radius of the planet help to suggest that 60%-70% of the total mass consists of ice, silicates, and iron contents. The PRL scientists observed the target for around 420 days for probing the nature of the system using the PARAS spectrograph. As this system is reported to feature three rocky planets that are the same size as Earth, astronomers are taking notice.


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