An Indian team of scientists led by Professor Abhijit Chakraborty of Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad, have discovered a sub-Saturn or super-Neptune size planet around a Sun-like star. The planet has a mass of about 27 Earth Mass and size of 6 Earth Radii. It goes around the host star in about 19.5 days.
The discovery was made by measuring the mass of the planet using the indigenously designed ‘PRL Advance Radial-velocity Abu-sky Search’ (PARAS) spectrograph integrated with 1.2m Telescope at PRL’s Gurushikhar Observatory in Mount Abu, India.
PARAS is the first-of-its-kind spectrograph in Asia, which can measure the mass of a planet going around a star. Very few such spectrographs exist around the world (mostly in the US and in Europe) that can do such precise measurements.
The discovery is of importance to understand the formation mechanism of such kind of planets that are too close to their host star and as well as planet formations around Sun-like stars. Only 23 such planetary systems including this discovery are known to this date with masses between 10 and 70 Earth mass and size of 4 to 8 Earth radii with such precise measurement of mass. The research appeared online in the Astronomical Journal of the American Astronomical Society and was published by IOP Publishing.