Achievements of Indians and Indigenisation of Technology (Download PDF)

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Exoplanets are the celestial bodies orbiting stars outside the solar system in clearly defined elliptical paths. Habitability of exo-planets- Mainly based on its distance from its star (the planet should be neither too hot nor too cold) . Indian Scientists have been trying since 2012 to track exo-planets. Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad became the 1st to track exo-planets.

  • The characterstics and fundamental parameters like mass, radius and atmosphere.
  • Density (mass and radius) helps in making a rough estimate of the planet՚s composition.

Challenge

  • Detection is difficult.
  • It is a dull object.
  • Invariably roaming around the bright spot of its star.
  • Image direction of exo-planets is almost impossible.
  • Limited number of spectrographs (5 - 6) can measure the mass of exo-planets at high precision (radial velocity less than 2 m/s) .

Exo-Planets Study

  • Measured using a precise spectrograph.
  • Mass of the planet can be measured using spectrograph reading.
  • The intensity of light from that star (which reaches the earth) gets minutely dim when the planet passes between its star and Earth.
  • Dip in Star՚s flux is measured and is subsequently employed to estimate the radius of the planet.

Newly Detected Exo-Planet (Observed Results)

  • A suspected planet (now been coded as K2 - 236b) .
  • Under the observation of the Ahmadabad based lab over 1 12 years.
  • Jan 2018-Observation of a planet which was then confirmed by -Mount Abu Space Observatory.
  • Composition- 70 % iron, ice or silicates and 30 % is gas, with about 27 Earth-masses and 6 Earth-radii.
  • Mass and Radius- Planet is akin to Neptune just one seventh of the distance away from its star as compared to Sun-Earth distance.
  • One year on the planet- About 19.5 Earth-days.
  • Surface temperatures- Average to about 600°C (Uninhabitable) .

INO Project

  • A particle physics research project.
  • To primarily study the elusive sub-atomic particles called neutrinos.
  • Neutrinos are extremely tiny elementary particles that are omnipresent in universe.
  • The second most abundant particle in the universe after the photon.
  • The rest mass is almost zero.
  • Interaction only via weak short range subatomic forces and gravity.
  • Detection needs high-end instruments.
  • An effective environment shielded from other radiant interference.

Challenges

  • Environment.
  • Litigations.
  • Red Tapes.
  • Cost.

- Published/Last Modified on: March 16, 2020

Science/Technology

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