Bizarre, rogue planet boasts impressive magnetic aurora

Brown dwarf or massive exoplanet detected with powerful magnetic field

Brown dwarf or massive exoplanet detected with powerful magnetic field

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.

Researchers have discovered a "rogue" planet outside of our solar system using the Very Large Array (VLA), the first time such a discovery has been made using a radio telescope.

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.

It also boasts scorching surface temperatures of around 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Instead, the 200-million-year-old planet rotates around the galactic center of the Milky Way in interstellar space. For comparison, the Sun has a surface temperature of 5,500 degrees Celsius or nearly 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It is 12 times bigger than Jupiter with a magnetic field that is 200 times stronger, and it emits a glow like the northern lights on Earth.

Brown dwarfs have long baffled experts because they're too big to be considered planets but are not big enough to be stars.

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. The first brown dwarf was discovered in 1995, although they were first theorized in the 1960s.

When this object was discovered in 2016 along with four brown dwarfs, scientists believed that it was older and more massive.

A further study carried out past year revealed that SIMP was part of a young group of stars. That's because spotting the dips in the star's brightness as the planet passes in front of it gives away its presence. Now, as stated in the new research, it is thought that the cosmic object is a planet, with an enormously strong magnetic field. 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.

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

The observed magnetic field "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", said Gregg Hallinan, of Caltech.

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