Mysterious 'rogue' planet spotted outside solar system

  • Mysterious 'rogue' planet spotted outside solar system

Mysterious 'rogue' planet spotted outside solar system

The planet produces a magnetic field around 200 times greater than that of the largest planet in our Solar System. This is at least how astronomers believed planets worked till they stumbled upon the first ever "rogue planet" that has been simply set adrift in the Milky Way. This first of its kind object is around 20 light years away from Earth. A light year is equal to about 6 trillion miles. Nicknamed "failed stars", brown dwarfs are larger than planets, but not quite large enough to fuse hydrogen, the way stars do. It also has a magnetic field about 200 times as strong as our infamously spotted neighbor's, driving auroras much like our own, except with a lack of a sun, SIMP's auroras are likely caused by magnetic play with one of its own moons.

The newly identified object is classified as a brown dwarf due to its mass.

"They [the surprises] can potentially help us understand magnetic processes on both stars and planets". But since then, as our technology progressed, astronomers found that these stars also exhibit signs of magnetic activity, including the formation of powerful auroras - which on Earth are created by solar wind particles interacting with the planet's magnetic field.

Kao's team used an advanced radio telescope located in New Mexico to make the discovery.

A massive glowing "rogue" planetary-mass object has been discovered, surprising scientists with not only its size, but also the fact it's not orbiting a star.

Once more data was obtained, the idea that SIMP J01365663+0933473 was a brown dwarf was scrapped. By comparison, the Sun's surface temperature is about 5,500 degrees Celsius.

"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", Kao said.

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.

Such a strong 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. The enigmatic celestial body was found to have a planetary mass and weigh 12.7 times more than Jupiter, despite having a radius only 1.22 times bigger than that of the gas giant.