Astronomers Discover Incredible Magnetism in Rogue Planet - NOVA Next

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. This object is 20 light-years from Earth. Credit Caltech  Chuck Carter NRAO  AUI  NSF

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. This object is 20 light-years from Earth. Credit Caltech Chuck Carter NRAO AUI NSF

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

An unusual new planet has been discovered drifting alone through space, 20 light years away from Earth. Brown dwarves are hard objects to categorise they are too huge to be considered planets and not big enough to be considered stars.

More baffling still is its mass and powerful magnetic field that's over 200 times stronger than Jupiter's. 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.

Astronomers mentioned that only a few rogue planets have been discovered until now and according to them, there could be many more such cosmic bodies hiding in the universe, waiting to be discovered, even though at the moment finding such an object is a rare event.

Scientists have made the first radio-telescope detection of a huge free-floating planet beyond our solar system, a new study said.

Studies that followed it demonstrated that certain brown dwarfs display strong auroras, similar to the ones seen in the Solar System's giant planets.

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Astronomers originally came to the conclusion that the object was a brown dwarf because of its mass and because it does not revolve around a star like a planet typically does.

Discovered in 2016, the planetary mass named SIMP was originally thought to be a brown dwarf planet, or dying star. At its size, it's right between the size of a planet and a failed star, so scientists will need to study it further to determine exactly what it is. After being determined to be much younger and smaller than initially thought, SIMP may be classified as a planet, and not a brown dwarf.

The new planet is 12 times the size of Jupiter which has a radius of more than 69,000 kilometres.

The rogue planet's strong aurora is being compared to the northern lights and aurora borealis seen on Earth. "We think these mechanisms can work not only in brown dwarfs, but also in both gas giant and terrestrial planets".

The new discovery can make boffins believe that they may have a novel way of detecting and finding exoplanets, including rogue ones that are hard to identify since they are not orbiting a parent star like the planets do in our solar system.

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