Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Gigantic Rogue Planet Found Lurking Outside Our Solar System

There Is an Absolutely Gigantic Rogue Planet Wandering Our Galactic Neighbourhood Mysterious 'rogue' planet spotted outside solar system
Kristen Harrington | 07 August, 2018, 00:24

The object, which has been named SIMP J01365663+0933473, was first detected in 2016, but was thought to be a brown dwarf.

This brownish celestial body is travelling through the galaxy completely alone around 20 light years from Earth and has an unusual aurora emanating from its pole.

A rogue planet with a mass more than 12 times that of Jupiter has been spotted hurtling through space.

"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 - planets beyond our solar system", lead study author Melodie Kao, an astrophysicist at Arizona State University, said in a statement from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory published August 2.

Of particular note is the presence of strong auroras, which typically involve a planet's magnetic field interacting with solar wind.

"This object is right at the boundary between a planet and a brown dwarf, or "failed star" and is giving us some surprises that can potentially help us understand magnetic processes on both stars and planets", said Dr. Melodie Kao, an astronomer at Arizona State University.

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Brown dwarfs, objects that are two massive be considered planets but not massive enough to sustain nuclear fusion in their cores, were first predicted in the 1960s and detected for the first time in 1995.

Probably a dozen times bigger than Jupiter, according to the researchers at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

However, recent VLA observations have uncovered that SIMP J01365663+0933473 is too lightweight to be a brown dwarf.

Scientists have discovered a planet that travels outside our solar system, but it seems that it doesn't orbit a star.

Planets are normally attached to a host star which gives it energy and light.

Kao led this study while a graduate student at California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

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It's thought that SIMP J01365663+0933473 is only 200 million years-old and is just 20 light-years away from Earth.

Such a strong magnetic field could improve our understanding of dynamo mechanism.

Compared to the Sun's 5,500-degree-Celsius surface temperature (9,932 degrees Fahrenheit), it's relatively cool, coming in with a surface temperature of 825 degrees Celsius (around 1517 degrees Fahrenheit).

Nevertheless, we still can't figure out how brown dwarf stars get auroras, considering they're nowhere near any type of stellar winds.

This limit is around 13 Jupiter masses, so at 12.7 the newly identified planet was brushing right up against it.

The difference between what constitutes gas giants and brown dwarfs is a matter of serious debate among astronomers, says NRAO.

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