Astronomers Discover Massive Glowing Planet Just Drifting Beyond The Solar System

Artist's conception of SIMP J01365663+0933473 an object with a magnetic field 200 times more powerful than Jupiter’s and lives 20 light years from Earth

Astronomers have discovered a planet outside our solar system that is 12 times the size of Jupiter, striking not only for its size but also for the fact that it is not orbiting any star.

The planet is only around 20 light years from Earth, but it's not really doing much besides relaxing in the vastness of space. It is now believed to be 200 million years old, and 20 light-years away from Earth.

"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", said Caltech graduate student Melodie Kao, who led the study, in a statement. Brown dwarfs are failed stars-objects much larger than most planets but too small to sustain fusion reactions.

In any case, the newly discovered body has a magnetic field 200 times more powerful than Jupiter's and a surface temperature of about 825 degrees Celsius (more than 1,500 F). The first ever sighting of a Brown Dwarf happened as late as 1995. Finding a solitary planet - called a "rogue" planet - is more hard, but researchers just managed to spot one using a radio telescope, and it's a real weirdo.

Astronomers originally came to the conclusion that the object was a brown dwarf because of its mass and because it does not revolve around a star like a planet typically does.

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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). Originally detected in 2016, it was one of five brown dwarfs that astronomers studied using the VLA.

But the abnormally high magnetic field makes it even more exciting.

The monstrously large world is twelve times bigger than Jupiter and the first object of its kind to be spotted using a radio telescope, according to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

Brown dwarf masses are notoriously hard to measure, and at the time, the object was thought to be an old and much more massive brown dwarf.

Caltech's Gregg Hallinan said that researching SIMP "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". The planet is rotating around the galactic center in the interstellar space.

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