One of them is just 160 light years from Earth and includes three planets that are remarkably similar in size to our own. Now, India has joined the group of countries that have discovered planets around stars.
The found planet is reportedly a sub-Saturn or super-Neptune-sized planet which has a radius six times that of earth, ISRO stated in its announcement on Friday. "It is closer to Neptune", he said, pointing out that the new planet had 27 times the mass of Earth and six times its radius. It is closer to Neptune, he added. This is the first of its kind spectrograph in the country, which can measure the mass of a planet moving around a star. Scientists have named this host star as EPIC 211945201 or K2-236 while the planet will be known as EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b.
The second red dwarf star that was detected with a new planetary system is K2-240, and this particular star features two large planets that are double the size of Earth.
ISRO website states that the 1.2 m InfraRed Telescope at Mount Abu is the first major facility in India that is specifically designed for ground-based infrared observations of celestial objects.
The PARAS reads the entire electromagnetic spectrum from microwave to infrared radiation which allows the scientists to read the composition of the planet, surface temperature, and the nature of the atmosphere. "Very few such spectrographs exist around the world (mostly in the U.S. and in the Europe) that can do such precise measurements", the space agency said on its website late on June 8. These are also called "extrasolar planets". "Extra" implies that these are outside our solar system. "Over the next few years, I expect that they will be able to make further contributions to this exciting field of astronomy".
According to Phys.org, the important discovery of these new planetary systems was made possible by the K2 mission that was undertaken with the use of NASA's Kepler satellite, with work that began in earnest in November, 2013.