Scientists Spot Massive Rogue Planet Just Outside Solar System

SIMP J01365663+0933473 shown here in this artist’s concept is a massive nearby exoplanet with a powerful aurora-generating magnetic field

There Is an Absolutely Gigantic Rogue Planet Wandering Our Galactic Neighbourhood

This first of its kind object is around 20 light years away from Earth.

Its mass is estimated to be 12.7 times that of Jupiter, the largest planet in the Solar System. The team's analysis showed the planet's magnetic field is around 200 times stronger than Jupiter's, and this could help explain why it also has a strong aurora.

While independent of a sun, SIMP is nevertheless too muggy to make it as an extraterrestrial vacation destination.

Though not as hot as our Sun, this newly discovered object is quite toasty at about 1,500 degree Fahrenheit. It's an absolutely massive alien world that is almost big enough to be classified as a brown dwarf.

With the help of the same auroral radio emissions that drove SIMP's discovery, we may forge a new understanding of the architecture of our universe.

And it's not just the magnetic mechanism that's leaving scientists with questions right now - there are plenty of other mysteries about the object, which scientists first discovered in 2016.

In the first radio-telescope detection of a planetary-mass object beyond our solar system, astronomers have found the unusual celestial body has 12.7 times the mass of Jupiter. The auroras seen on Earth are caused by our planet's magnetic field interacting with the solar wind. Nicknamed "failed stars", brown dwarfs are larger than planets, but not quite large enough to fuse hydrogen, the way stars do. Astronomers agree that the difference can be drawn as the line below which deuterium fusion is no more possible, known as the "deuterium-burning limit", it stands at around 13 Jupiter masses. "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".

The first of such astronomical bodies was observed in 1995 and the scientists are still trying to understand more about the radio emissions and magnetic fields of five brown dwarves.

Kao and Hallinan worked with J. Sebastian Pineda who also was a graduate student at Caltech and is now at the University of Colorado Boulder, David Stevenson of Caltech, and Adam Burgasser of the University of California San Diego.

The findings appear in the Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series.

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

Latest News