Rogue planet with mystical aurora discovered drifting beyond our solar system

Christopher Davidson
August 8, 2018

Recently astronomers using the National Science Foundation's Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array to probe the planet's radio emissions determined the object to be a rogue planet.

The first of such astronomical bodies was observed in 1995 and the scientists are still trying to understand more about the radio emissions and magnetic fields of five brown dwarves.

It also boasts scorching surface temperatures of around 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit. They say the new world is 200 million years old and 20 light-years from Earth. It has a surface temperature of about 825 degrees Celsius.

Artist's conception of SIMP J01365663 0933473, an object with 12.7 times the mass of Jupiter, but a magnetic field 200 times more powerful than Jupiter's. Brown dwarves are hard objects to categorise they are too huge to be considered planets and not big enough to be considered stars.

Its mass is estimated to be 12.7 times that of Jupiter, the largest planet in the Solar System. The planet was previously mistakenly labeled in 2016 as a brown dwarf planet.

Although the discovery of a rogue planet is rare, with only a few identified to date, scientists believe there could be many more in the universe waiting to be discovered.

A further study carried out a year ago revealed that SIMP was part of a young group of stars. Being this young meant that it could, in fact, be a free-floating planet.

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Kao heard those results when she was looking at the newest data from the radio astronomy observatory, which helped the researchers determine the strong magnetic field.

How the sunless planet has such strong auroras, similar to those seen in our own Solar System's giant planets, remains a mystery.

It is these radio signatures emitted by the auroras of such rogue objects that allow researchers to detect them.

Astronomers have discovered a massive planet with a unusual glow just outside the solar system, where it is just drifting without any kind of orbit.

The boundary often used to distinguish a massive gas giant plant from a brown dwarf is the "deuterium-burning limit" - the mass below whichdeuterium stops being fused in the objects core.

Such a strong magnetic field "presents huge challenges to our understanding of the dynamo mechanism that produces the magnetic fields in brown dwarfs and exoplanets and helps drive the auroras we see", adds Gregg Hallinan, of Caltech, who also worked on the study.

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