This finding is the first radio telescope finding of an object the mass of a planet found outside the Solar System. In addition, the object is "outcast", that is, traveling in space without being bound to any star. This first of its kind object is around 20 light years away from Earth. A light year is equal to about 6 trillion miles.
"This object is right at the boundary between a planet and a brown dwarf, or 'failed star, ' and is giving us some surprises", said Melodie Kao, who led a recent study while a graduate student at Caltech.
According to experts, it is common for similar observations to be made on brown dwarfs, aborted stars with high mass to be considered as planets, but without enough to trigger nuclear fusion reactions and become stars. However, they agree that a dividing line can be achieved when an object is around the size of 13 Jupiter masses. The rogue planet is also 12 times bigger than Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, with a magnetic field that is 200 times stronger. Its surface seems to be about 825 degrees Celsius, while the Sun's surface reaches the 5,500.
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In fact, scientists are still debating the difference between giant planets and brown dwarfs because of the only distinction they can categorize them based on is size. Such objects were first theorized in the 60s but were first identified in 1995. The newly discovered object, called SIMP J01365663+0933473, has been found to have a magnetic field 200 times more powerful than Jupiter's.
Journal Reference: "The Strongest Magnetic Fields on the Coolest Brown Dwarfs", by M. Kao et al.in the Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series.
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The auroras on our planet are caused by its magnetic field interacting with the solar wind (the continuous flow of charged particles from the sun's upper atmosphere, known as the corona, that permeates the solar system). On Earth, auroras are generated by interactions between its magnetic field and solar winds. However, not everything was successfully predicted: initially, brown dwarfs were thought to not emit radio waves, but in 2001, that was disproven.
The planetary body was originally detected by VLA in 2016 but was believed to be an old brown dwarf.
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