The Qatar Exoplanet Survey (QES), a research project organised by the Qatar National Research Fund, Qatar Foundationand Hamad Bin Khalifa University announced that it had discovered a new planet in the solar system.
The new planet has been named Qatar 6b, reported Gulf Times.
The discovery was published in the International Astronomical Journal, one of the world’s foremost journals in astronomy and astrophysics.
Qatar’s latest discovery adds a rare specimen of planet to the nation’s list of discoveries made in its new history of space exploration, according to Qatar Tribune.
Dr Khalid A Al Subai, a leading Qatari astronomer and acting executive director of Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute, said the research team was able to discover the new exoplanet after a thorough study of thousands of celestial images taken by specialised ground-based observatories.
The three QES observatories are situated in New Mexico (USA), Canary Islands (Spain), and Urumqi (China).
The International Astronomical Union, in association with the researchers, named the planet according to the satellite nomenclature in place and named it ‘Qatar-6b.’ This was Qatar’s sixth planetary discovery in recent times.
The discovery was also a proud moment for Qatari students as it was the first time they actively contributed to the effort by analysing preliminary monitoring data. The participation of the students at QES enabled them to gain an insight into modern monitoring methods and state-of-the-art analytical tools.
It was also the first time that the names of high school students have been published as participating researchers in an international scientific journal. [QatarLiving]