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Indian Origin Scientist Kailash Sahu and team in US used Albert Einstein’s Theory to Weigh Stars

Kailash Chandra Sahu, an Indian-origin astronomer, led a group of scientists to weigh white dwarf stars using Einstein's General Theory of Relativity.

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Kailash Chandra Sahu
The Hubble Telescope hovering in space. Wikimedia
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  • A team of scientists in the US has successfully weighed the mass of a white dwarf star using Einstein’s predictions and theory
  • The group of scientists was led by an Indian-origin astronomer Kailash Chandra Sahu
  • This is the first time that the weight of a star has been measured using Einstein’s theory

US, June 10, 2017: Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity is a century old. Yet, every year new developments in scientific knowledge are emerging through this basic formulated theory by Einstein.

The theory of relativity has once again provided development in our knowledge of the cosmos. In the US, a group of scientists has measured the mass of a white dwarf star by using the century-old theory.

The group was led by an Indian-origin astronomer Kailash Chandra Sahu at the Space Telescope Science Institute. The team used the Hubble Space Telescope to calculate the mass. Sahu is also the lead author of the research paper.

ALSO READ: Albert Einstein’s Century-old Prediction Comes True: Third Gravitational Waves detected by Scientists

The essence of the study lies in the technicality used by the scientists. They observed the white dwarf star as it passed by a distant star. When the two stars closely aligned, scientists analyzed the deflection in the light of the distant star caused by the gravity of the white dwarf star. The deflection in the sky would appear offset by 2 milliarcseconds!

The deflection may be incredibly tiny but it helped the scientists calculate the dwarf’s mass.

Einstein had hypothesized that a ray of light from a different star passing by an object would bend due to the gravity pull of the passing object. The study is published in the journal called Science.

– by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

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NASA’s Kepler Discovers Nearly 100 New Exoplanets

NASA researchers found that some of the signals were caused by multiple star systems or noise from the spacecraft

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Countless galaxies exist in the universe, each hiding secrets that humankind is yet to unearth. Pixabay
  • NASA’s Kepler has discovered nearly 100 new exoplanets
  • Some of the planets discovered are as large as Jupiter
  • NASA has also found planet which orbits very bright stars

An international team of scientists have confirmed the discovery of nearly 100 new exoplanets — planets located outside our solar system.

The discovery was based on data from the second mission of NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope or K2 released in 2014.

NASA has discovered nearly 100 exoplanets. Wikimedia Commons
NASA has discovered nearly 100 exoplanets. Wikimedia Commons

K2 searches for exoplanet transits by registering dips in light caused by the shadow of an exoplanet as it crosses in front of its host star.

NASA researchers found that some of the signals were caused by multiple star systems or noise from the spacecraft.

But they also detected planets that range from sub-Earth-sized to the size of Jupiter and larger.

Also Read: Milky Way’s neighbouring galaxy is of the same size, not bigger

One of the planets detected was orbiting a very bright star.

“We validated a planet on a 10-day orbit around a star called HD 212657, which is now the brightest star found by K2 missions to host a validated planet,” said lead author Andrew Mayo, a doctoral student at the National Space Institute (DTU Space) at the Technical University of Denmark.

Some of the planets found are as big as Jupiter. VOA
Some of the planets found are as big as Jupiter. VOA

For the study, appearing in the Astronomical Journal, the team started out analyzing 275 candidates of which 149 were validated as real exoplanets.

In turn 95 of these planets have proved to be new discoveries, Mayo said.

The Kepler spacecraft was first launched in 2009 to hunt for exoplanets in a single patch of sky, but in 2013 a mechanical failure crippled the telescope.

NASA has found many planets before as well. Wikimedia Commons
NASA has found many planets before as well. Wikimedia Commons

However, astronomers and engineers devised a way to repurpose and save the space telescope by changing its field of view periodically. This solution paved the way for the follow up K2 mission.

Adding the newly discovered exoplanets brings the total number of exoplanets by K2 mission to almost 300, the study said.

Also Read: NASA sounding rocket probing dark regions of space falter

The first planet orbiting a star similar to our own Sun was detected only in 1995. Today some 3,600 exoplanets have been found, ranging from rocky Earth-sized planets to large gas giants like Jupiter. IANS