Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Research | By Derrick Holloway

New Rogue Planet Discovered by Astronauts

New Rogue Planet Discovered by Astronauts

The new discovery can make boffins believe that they may have a novel way of detecting and finding exoplanets, including rogue ones that are hard to identify since they are not orbiting a parent star like the planets do in our solar system.

When astronomers are searching the depths of space for new objects it's typically easier to find undiscovered planets if they're orbiting a star. Age 200 million years and a distance of 20 light years from Earth, the object has a surface temperature of 825 degrees Celsius. It lies right on the border between planet and brown dwarf or failed star, says Melodie Kao, the first study author. Although they're not planets, brown dwarfs are not massive enough to sustain nuclear fusion of ordinary hydrogen to helium - and therefore, are not technically stars either.

However, follow-up observation from VLA confirmed that it still has a planetary mass (12.7 times of Jupiter) and is still far from becoming a brown dwarf.

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The newly-discovered object resides 20 light-years from Earth and is some 12 times more massive than Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. The surface of SIMP is roughly 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit (816 Celsius), sitting "right at the boundary between a planet and a brown dwarf, or 'failed star, '" according to Kao.

"They [the surprises] can potentially help us understand magnetic processes on both stars and planets". The first ever sighting of a Brown Dwarf happened as late as 1995.

The research team have discovered that the planet's magnetic field is incredibly strong - around 200 times stronger than Jupiter's - giving it a strong aurora.

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Scientists using a radio-telescope array have spotted a huge roaming cosmic body with an abnormally strong magnetic field.

There are many mysterious things about the rogue planet, which was discovered using the National Science Foundation's Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array telescope in New Mexico.

Though it was first detected in 2016, scientists initially identified it as one of five recently discovered brown dwarfs. On Earth, colorful auroras are produced from the interaction of its magnetic field and solar wind. However, when another team looked at the brown dwarf data they realised one of the objects, dubbed SIMP J01365663+0933473, was far younger than the others.

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