Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Glowing Rogue Planet Discovered Near Our Solar System

Glowing Rogue Planet Discovered Near Our Solar System

Scientists are working to explain the presence of a mysterious large object floating outside the solar system that may be a rogue planet.

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.

At 200 million years old and approximately 20 light-years from Earth, SIMP0136 has a surface temperature of about 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit (825 degrees Celsius).

A rogue planet over 12 times bigger than Jupiter was discovered using a radio telescope.

"This object is right at the boundary between a planet and a brown dwarf, or 'failed star, ' and is giving us some surprises", said Melodie Kao, who led a recent study while a graduate student at Caltech. Since the mass of a Brown dwarf is hard to accurately calculate, at the time, the object found was thought to be an old, massive brown dwarf.

Astronomers have discovered a planet outside our solar system that is 12 times the size of Jupiter, striking not only for its size but also for the fact that it is not orbiting any star.

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They were able to determine its mass and determine that the object could be a free-floating planet. Such objects were first theorized in the 60s but were first identified in 1995.

This planet got a pretty "easy" name, SIMP J01365663+0933473, and astronomers told us that its magnetic field is really strong, nearly 200 times stronger than Jupiter's. Finally, it would have a powerful magnetic field, whose strength would be 200 times greater than that of Jupiter.

This finding could help to better understand the magnetic processes of stars and planets, Kao believes. Some brown dwarfs have powerful auroras like those seen around the poles of Earth, Jupiter and Saturn caused by the interactions of a planet's magnetic field and the electrically charged solar wind.

Above: The Very Large Antennas used to describe the brown dwarf. Originally detected in 2016, it was one of five brown dwarfs that astronomers studied using the VLA.

Last year, Dr. Artigau's team discovered that the object was part of a very young group of stars. In 2001, VLA uncovered the first signs of radio flaring in a brown dwarf leading to further observations that confirmed that some of these bodies did indeed have strong auroras.

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