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 $\frac{1}{2}$ 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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