Mysterious Rogue Planet SIMP J01365663+0933473 Detected Outside Solar System

Posted: Aug 6 2018, 12:03am CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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Mysterious Rogue Planet SIMP J01365663+0933473 Detected Outside Solar System
Credit: Chuck Carter, NRAO/AUI/NSF

The strange object has a magnetic field more than 200 times stronger than Jupiter's.

A massive rogue planet has been discovered beyond our solar system. The object is about twelve times as massive as Jupiter and has a surprisingly powerful magnetic field.

Rogue planets are hard to identify because these objects travel through space without any parent star and do not emit any kind of light. They are originally formed inside a star system but somehow escaped. As a result, they wander alone through space.

The newly identified object is classified as a brown dwarf due to its mass. Brown dwarfs are neither planets nor stars. They are intermediate objects with a mass ranging between 13 and 80 Jupiter masses.

"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.” Lead researcher Melodie Kao from Caltech said in a statement.

The strange object, called SIMP J01365663+0933473, has a magnetic field more than 200 times stronger than Jupiter's. It is located 20 light-years from Earth and has a surface temperature of about 825 degrees Celsius.

The object was originally detected in 2016 as one of five brown dwarfs the scientists studied with Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope. When researchers observed it again in a new study at even higher radio frequencies, they confirmed that its magnetic field was even stronger than first measured. Such a strong magnetic field could improve our understanding of the dynamo mechanism. It is a process by which celestial bodies like brown dwarfs and exoplanets generate a magnetic field.

“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,” said Kao. “We think these mechanisms can work not only in brown dwarfs but also in both gas giant and terrestrial planets.”

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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