GS Paper - 3 (Science and Technology)

Astronomers from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) have developed an algorithm that can increase the accuracy of data from exoplanets by reducing the contamination by Earth’s atmosphere and disturbances due to instrumental effects and other factors.

What

  1. Called the “critical noise treatment algorithm”, astronomers from IIA, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology, say it can help study the environment of exoplanets with better precision.
  2. The understanding of physical properties of exoplanets with extreme accuracy can help to explore the ones that could be similar to planet Earth and hence might be habitable.
  3. The team has been using ground-based optical telescopes available in India and the data obtained by the space telescopeTransiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite” or TESS.
  4. They have been using the Himalayan Chandra Telescope at the Indian Astronomical Observatory, Hanle and the Jagadish Chandra Bhattacharyya Telescope at Vainu Bappu Observatory, Kavalur in order to obtain signals of Exoplanets.
  5. The astronomers point out that transit signals are heavily affected by the noise due to various sources that pose a challenge to estimate the physical parameters of the planets accurately.
  6. Hence, the team has developed this new algorithm that can treat the transit signals detected by both ground- and space-based telescopes with much better precision than ever before.
  7. Recently, they demonstrated the effectiveness of the algorithm by critically analysing the data of TESS space telescope, reduced the instrumental noise and the disturbances arising from variability and pulsation of the host stars and estimated the physical parameters of a few Exoplanets accurately.