Scientists discover "rogue planet" outside solar system

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

Still unclear about their formation, scientists claim that their study showing the auroral radio emissions can further be used to discover more such planets beyond 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 skirting the boundaries of our solar system - just 20 light years from Earth - and may prove to be an invaluable source of astronomic knowledge. Mass brown dwarfs are very hard to measure, so then the object is considered old and much more massive members of this class of objects.

The commonly accepted threshold is 13 Jupiter masses, or in astronomer jargon, the "deuterium-fusion" limit, beyond which it's most likely a brown dwarf.

The VLA observations provided both the first radio detection and the first measurement of the magnetic field of a possible planetary mass object beyond our solar system. In terms of physical traits, it's slightly bigger than Jupiter, the largest planet of our stellar neighborhood, but weighs 12 times more than the gas-giant. This fits with the object being between a planet and a brown dwarf and could provide valuable information about both groups.

Originally discovered in 2016, it was only recently that it was identified as a planetary-mass object, having originally been classified as a brown dwarf.

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Journal Reference: "The Strongest Magnetic Fields on the Coolest Brown Dwarfs", by M. Kao et al.in the Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series.

The rogue planet is the first object of its kind to be spotted using a radio telescope, according to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. That's an incredible finding, and it suggests that there's some very interesting things going on above the planet's surface.

Brown dwarf masses are notoriously hard to measure, and at the time, the object was thought to be an old and much more massive brown dwarf.

The rogue planet along with some brown dwarves are known to have their own auroras, similar to the aurora borealis or the northern lights seen on Earth.

Researchers at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory have detected the first exoplanet using a radio-telescope, which is huge, very hot, and has a powerful magnetic field.

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