Discovery of two New Planets beyond our Solar system using NASA K2 mission data

Scientists of the Arthur C Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies have discovered two planets orbiting around a star located 1133 light years from the earth in the constellation Virgo. This is the first ever planetary system discovered by Sri Lankan scientists. Mr.Mahesh Herath , Mr. Saraj Gunasekera and Dr. Chandana Jayaratne  of University of Colombo and 11 other foreign scientists has contributed to this discovery.

  • What makes this system stand out among other planetary systems?
  • This system contains one of the very few confirmed planets with an orbital period above 50 days among transiting Exoplanets (65.5 days).
  • The first planet being a sub Neptune very close to the host star (about 0.1 AU) is a rare occurrence in planetary formation. The large distance between the two planets, and their near-identical sizes may be an indicator that the first planet could have migrated inwards to its current position after forming near the second planet, far away from the host star.
  • The second planet lies close to the inner boundary of the habitable zone for this system.