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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Discovery of Sub-Saturn Exoplanet around a Star

Planet size comparison of K2-236b and Earth
Sub-Saturn like Planet Discovery, India (PARAS Spectrograph).

Flash points:
  • Indian discovery of exoplanet named K2-236b.
  • Discovered by team of Dr.Abijit Chakraborthy.
  • Surrounds around EPIC 211945201 Star.
  • Precise measurements was made by PARAS Spectrograph.
  • Observation were made in Gurusikhar Observatory, Mount Abu, India.
  • It's mass is about 27-times mass of Earth.
  • It lies about 600 light years away from Earth
  • Surface temperature of the planet is about 600 degree Celsius.
  • Period of Revolution around star 19.5 days.
  • Period of discovery and confirmation 420 days (1.5 Years).
  • The Research article can be found at doi:10.3847/1538-3881/aac436
 Scientific Facts:

    The scientific team led by professor Abijit Chakraborthy of Ahmedabad Physical Research Laboratory discovered a sub-Saturn or super-Neptune size about 27 times the mass of Earth. The planet moves around the star in every 19.5 days. It is about 600 light years away from our earth. The discovery was made with a new kind of rare spectrograph in Asia called PARAS ( Physical Research Laboratory Advanced Radial Velocity Abu-Sky Search) which is about 1.2 m telescope in PRL's Gurusikhar Observatory located in Mount Abu, India.

      The surface temperature of the planet is about 600 degree Celsius measured by very sensitive instruments. The name of  the hot-star is EPIC 211945201 or K2-236. Initially, the source was found to be a planetary candidate from NASA K2 photometry, because it was transisting and lies between the star and the observer on the earth as it goes around the star and blocks tiny amount of light to reach earth.

     Using the spectrograph, its radii was about 6 times the Earth radii. The K2 photometric data was not sufficient to confirm the planetary nature of the planet. Therefore, independent measurement of the mass of the body was necessary for the discovery, which was made by PARAS spectrograph.

[1] ISRO (07-June-2018) " Discovery of Sub-Saturn Exoplanet around a Sun like Star" Indian Space Research Organisation. Retrieved from on 22-07-2018. 

Image Credit : ISRO | PARAS | Gurusikhar Observatory - India

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Accidental discovery of 12 Jupiter's new moons

12 New moons of Jupiter discovered
Team of astronomers from Hawaii and Arizona has reported the discovery of 12 moons around Jupiter in addition to 67 moons which were discovered earlier. After this majestic discovery the total count of the Jupiter's moon reached to 79 which is most for any other planet./

The discovery of this moons were not planned but they were accidentally discovered while looking for the objects on the fringes of the solar system. In this report, astronomers confirmed that two were discovered earlier and 10 more were discovered on Tuesday. One of these moon called oddball as named by the astronomers due to the unusual orbit around the Jupiter.

The newly identified moons were too small ranges from 1 km to 2 km. But the Jupiter is a home to the largest moon in the solar system Ganymede having diameter about 5,268 km. These team were led by astronomer Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington who identified twelve small Jovian moons.

Researcher conclude that these moons were formed in the earlier stage of formation of the solar system but they were probably captured by the Jupiter's strong gravitational pull. Researcher thinks that, these moons may be intermediate between rocky asteroids and icy moons. Because they are probably half ice and half rock.

Valetudo is named for the odd moon which have unusual orbit around Jupiter. It was named after the Roman god Jupiter's great-granddaughter - the goddess of health and hygiene. It spins normal like other moons but it sometimes spins in a wrong way. It have probability of getting collided with other objects. It may have collided with many objects as predicted by Scott Sheppard. From this discovery he concludes that, other planets may have undiscovered moons.

Images taken with Carnegie's 6.5-meter Magellan telescope at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. Lines point to Valetudo
Credit: Carnegie Institution for Science.

[1] Astronomers accidentally discover 12 new moons orbiting Jupiter (18-July-2018) India Today.
[2] Image Retrieved from on 19-July-2018.
[3] Astronomers discovered 10 new moons of Jupiter (17-July-2018). Retrieved from on 19-July-2018.
[4] One 'Oddball' among 12 new found moons discovered orbiting Jupiter (17-July-2018) . Retrieved from on 19-July-2018.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Life 2017 full movie

Life 2017 full movie
Movie Name : Life 
Directed by : Daniel Espinosa
Produced by : David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Bonnie Curtis and Julie lynn
Written by : Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick
Production : Sony Pictures
Release Date : 18 March 2017
Country : United States
Duration : 104 minutes
Language : English
Budget : $58 million USD
Download Link :

Spacex - blue origin - new era in space exploration

New Shepard 2 - blue origin rocket launch and landing video

Blue Origin's New Shepard 2 succeeded in launch and landing. It's major success will create new era in space science exploration and human interplanetary travel in upcoming decades. In parallel to Blue Origin, Space-x also have Falcon9 and Falcon Heavy class rocket which are reusable and capable of landing. Both the Falcon and New Shepard will be used for future interplanetary exploration and manned mission. 

This Video shows the launch and landing of New Shepard 2 reusable rocket successfully tested on 23 November 2015.

[1] Image Retrieved from on 18-July-2018

Successful Test of ISRO's Vikas Engine

Successful Test of Vikas Engine | ISRO [2]
    On 15-July-2018, Indian Space Research Organisation's ( ISRO Propulsion Complex) successfully tested high thrust version of Vikas Engine. The test was about 195 seconds at Mahendragiri. It is a liquid rocket engine powering the second stage of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and also second stage and four strap of the stages of Geosynchronous Satellite launch Vehicle (GSLV) with the twin liquid core engine (L110) of GSLV-Mark-III.

All the performance parameters during the test were found to be satisfactory and closely matched to the simulation predictions. It validated the performance adequacy of the Vikas Engine for the use in future flight of GSLV-Mark-III. It is estimated to improve the payload capability of launch vehicles such as PSLV, GSLV and GSLV-Mark-III.[1]

Image Credit: ISRO Propulsion Complex | ISRO

[1] Vikas Engine (15-July-2018) "Successful test of Vikas Engine" Indian Space Research Organisation. Retrieved from on 18-July-2018.
[2] Vikas Engine (15-July-2018) "Successful test of Vikas Engine" Indian Space Research Organisation. Retrieved from on 18-July-2018.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Mangalyaan Updates 2018

Olympus Mons (Mars) | Image Credit : Mangalyaan ISRO
     The above image shows picture of solar system's largest volcano Olympus Mons taken by Indian Space Research Organisation's Mangalyaan (Mars Colour Camera). It was taken on 18th March of 2018 at an altitude of 8,387 km from the surface with spatial resolution is about 436m. This volcano is located in Tharasis region and its height is about 21,000 metres.

   Mangalyaan is a small orbiter designed and developed by Indian scientists. It has been achieving its mission goal since its arrival in 2014. It is one of the active spacecraft around Mars among various Mars orbiters. Latest image of Mangalyaan was upated on 18 March 2018 in ISRO's official website.

Image Credit : ISRO | Mangalyaan

[1] ISRO (18 March 2018) "Mangalyaan Update" Indian Space Research Organisation. Retrieved from on 16-July-2018.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Successful test of Crew Escape System from India

Crew Escape System:
Crew Escape System-India-Technology Demonstrator

     India had planned to carry out manned mission by 2018, but due to some obstruction in financial condition. It has achieved a major technology demonstration on 05-July-2018. The first series of tests to qualify Crew Escape System, which is critical technological relevant for human spaceflight. The crew escape system is an emergency escape designed to quickly pull astronauts along with crew module away from launch vehicle during emergency launch abort. The foremost test (Pad Abort Test) demonstrated the safe recovery of crew module in case of exigency in launch pad from Sriharikotta Rocket Launch Pad.

     After a smooth countdown of 5 hours, the Crew Escape System along with crew module with mass of 12.6 tonnes, lifted off at 07:00 AM Indian Standard Time at the opening of the launch window from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota on 05-07-2018. The test was over in 259 seconds, during the Crew Escape System roared towards the sky and landed in Bay of Bengal using main parachutes about 2.9 kilometers away from Sriharikota.

    After the launch, the Crew Escape System reached a height of 2.7 km using specially designed seven solid rocket motors. During the course of launch, nearly 300 sensors recorded various mission performance parameters. After the landing, three boats were used to recover the Crew module from Bay of Bengal.

    Indians hope that this type of Crew Capsules will be helpful in manned mission for the exploration of Moon and they may extend their exploration to Mars after subsequent mission of Mangalyaan-2. This Crew Escape System is complete indigenous technology designed and developed in India by various scientists and engineers. It is aimed that India will join the major countries to have the capabilities of launching crews to space after future successful mission. First man in space Dr.Rakesh Sharma brought proud to the Indian nation reaching the space from Russian manned mission. But, soon we will have astronauts in space, which will be launched from Indian land with its own indigenous launch vehicle.

Image Credit : Indian Space Research Organisation


[1] ISRO website (05-July-2018) " Successful flight testing of Crew Escape System-technology demonstrator" Indian Space Research Organisation. Retrieved from url on 15-07-2018.

Discovery of Saturn like planet around a star | India

Date: 22-June-2018

Discovery of new exoplanet around a star:
Discovery of Indian Exoplanet
     A team of researchers and engineers under professor. Abhijit Chakraborthy from Physical Research Laboratory (Ahmedabad), have discovered a planet which size lies between sub-Saturn and Super-Neptune. Its mass is about 27 times of Earth around a sun like star. The planet was named as EPIC-211945201b or K2-236b.

The work regarding the discovery and measurement has appeared in the Astronomical Journal of the American Astronomical Society and the article was published by IOP Publishing house.

The discovery was made by measuring the mass and size of the planet by using the indigenously developed PRL Advance Radial-velocity Abu-sky Search (PARAS) spectrograph integrated with 1.2m diameter telescope located at Gurushikhar Observatory in Mount Abu, India. There are 23 such planetary systems are known to this date with masses between 10 to 70 Earth mass and size of 4 to 8 Earth radii. This discovery is very important to understand the formation of planets and planetary systems around sun like star.

With this discovery of EPIC-211945201b, India has joined a handful of countries, which have discovered planets around stars beyond our solar system.

About PARAS:

     PARAS is the first kind of spectrograph in Asia, which can measure the mass of a planet going around a star. Rare spectrograph were found all over the world which can measure such precise measurements.

[1] ISRO (22-June-2018) "Discovery of a sub-Saturn like planet around a Sun-like star" Indian Space Research Organisation. Retrieved from on 15-07-2018.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

MARS in Our Naked Eye - Night Sky Events July-2018

Earth-Mars Closest Approach
     This year will be the best to turn our telescope towards Mars. According to National Aeronautics Space Administration, from July 27 to July 30 of 2018, Mars will appear brightest object in the night sky. It is estimated that the closest approach will be in 31-July-2018. [1]

Mars in our Naked Eye:
Mars to the naked eye [2]

     Simply we can go outside and make a look into the sky. The Mars will look brighter like a star in reddish-yellow colour. This can be seen from middle of May-2018 to End July-2018.

Mars Close Approach to Earth:

     Mars will be at somewhat around 57.6 million kilometers away from Earth. Mars will reach it highest point around midnight approximately at 35 degrees above the southern horizon.
     By middle of the August, Mars will become fainter object as it will move farther away from each other in their orbits around Sun. The next estimated close approach is October 2020.[2]

Perfect for Mission Launches:

     This Mars close approach will be best for Mission launches to Mars, so that it can travel and reach earlier as possible. In this 2018- launch window NASA's InSight Mars Lander launched on 05-May-2018 from Vandenberg Air Force Station. [3]


[1] The night sky in May 2018 ( 18-May-2018) Jet Propulsion Laboratory | California Institute of Technology. (NASA). Retrieved from The Night Sky in May 2018 on 03-07-2018.
[2] Mars in our night sky ( July-2018) Mars Exploration Program. National Aeronautics Space Administration. Retrieved from on 03-07-2018.
[3] Mission Timeline ( 5-May-208) Mars InSight Mission. NASA Website. Retrieved from on 03-07-2018.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Organic Molecules in Enceladus

     Data from earlier Cassini mission spacecraft has found complex organic molecules coming out of Saturn's Icy moon Enceladus. It strengthens the idea of existence of water and hosts good condition for life.

Scientists revealed that complex organic material get mixed with hot hydro-thermal water and released into space in the form of water vapor and ice grains. These results were discovered by a team led by Frank Postberg and Nozair Khawaja from the University of Heidelberg.

On Enceladus, bubbles of gas, rising through miles of ocean, could bring up organic material from depths, where they could form a thin film floating on the ocean surface and in cracks of vents, in the interior of the moon, beneath its icy shell.
After rising near the top of the ocean, the bubbles may burst or otherwise disperse the organics, where they were detected by Cassini.
Continuing studies of Cassini data will help us unravel the mysteries of this intriguing ocean world,” said Cassini Project Scientist Linda Spilker of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.
[1] Gretchen McCartney, Dwayne Brown, JoAnna Wendel, Markus Bauer (27 June 2018) " Complex Organics Bubble up from Ocean-world Enceladus" NASA Website. Retrieved from on 02-06-2018.
Information Source: NASA
Image : NASA