India joined an exclusive group of countries to discover exoplanets orbiting alien stars.
UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — Astronomers from Ahmedabad recently found a planet smaller than Saturn but bigger than Neptune some 600 light years away.
It’s been dubbed “EPIC 211945201b.” Experts say it’s far more massive than Earth, hotter than Earth and a year on its surface is just 19.5 Earth days.
While it’s not exactly rare for new exoplanets to be discovered, it is uncommon for one to be found by an agency other than NASA.
So far, NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has found around 2,600 of the nearly 3,800 known exoplanets.
This newfound planet was indeed spotted first by Kepler but the Indian scientists confirmed its identity June 8 in The Astronomical Journal.
They scrutinized the planet’s host star named K2 236. Dips in the star’s light proved an orbiting planet was passing in front of it.