Discovery: Huge glowing 'rogue' planet drifting through space

Space								Image Source Caltech  Chuck Carter NRAO  AUI  NSF

Space Image Source Caltech Chuck Carter NRAO AUI NSF

Scientists using a telescope and the VLA recorded a planetary mass object outside our Solar system.

Brown dwarfs are objects in space that are too big to be considered as planets, but are not big enough to sustain nuclear fusion of hydrogen within their cores, which is the process that powers stars.

The planet is only around 20 light years from Earth, but it's not really doing much besides relaxing in the vastness of space. A light year is equal to about 6 trillion miles.

Brown dwarfs are substellar objects, with masses approximately 13 to 75-80 times that of Jupiter.

"This. object is exciting because studying its magnetic dynamo mechanisms can give us new insights on how the same type of mechanisms can operate in planets beyond our solar system", Kao said.

The newly-discovered object resides 20 light-years from Earth and is some 12 times more massive than Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. Its surface seems to be about 825 degrees Celsius, while the Sun's surface reaches the 5,500.

Such planets are called "rogue planets", meaning that they are alone and don't revolve around a star; instead they rotate around the galactic center.

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The odd object was discovered in 2016 and originally believed to be a very old brown dwarf.

The unusual object, called SIMP J01365663+0933473, has a magnetic field which is more than 200 times stronger than the magnetic field field of Jupiter, according to the study published in The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series.

Initially the object was registered in 2016 as one of the brown dwarfs, the study of which is engaged in the VLA. Scientists detected the enormous planet from the US -based Very Large Array observatory.

In addition to providing the first radio detection of the object's magnetic field, VLA also provided the field's first measurement. That's an incredible finding, and it suggests that there's some very interesting things going on above the planet's surface. The auroras are similar to those on Earth that happen when our magnetic field interacts with solar wind.

Caltech's Gregg Hallinan said that researching SIMP "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".

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.

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