Huge Planet's Aurora 200 Times as Strong as Jupiter's

Cristina Cross
August 7, 2018

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. It is travelling through space unaccompanied by any parent star. A light year is equal to about 6 trillion miles.

Brown dwarfs, explains the NRAO, are celestial objects that are too big to actually be considered planets, yet not big enough to sustain the nuclear fusion that keeps stars alive in their cores.

The unusual object, called SIMP J01365663+0933473, has a magnetic field which is more than 200 times stronger than the magnetic field field of Jupiter, according to the study published in The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series.

Astronomers using NSF's Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array have detected a "rogue" planetary-mass object with a surprisingly powerful magnetic field.

In the first radio-telescope detection of a planetary-mass object beyond our solar system, astronomers have found the odd celestial body has 12.7 times the mass of Jupiter.

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

A massive glowing "rogue" planetary-mass object has been discovered, surprising scientists with not only its size, but also the fact it's not orbiting a star.

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Despite its weight, the newly discovered planet has a radius only 1.2 times that of Jupiter, the study said. "We think these mechanisms can work not only in brown dwarfs, but also in both gas giant and terrestrial planets", Kao said.

"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", Dr. Kao said. Further observations revealed that brown dwarfs can generate strong auroras.

Those are the processes that this new object, named SIMP J01365663+0933473, might help astronomers learn more about.

Compared to the Sun's 5,500-degree-Celsius surface temperature (9,932 degrees Fahrenheit), it's relatively cool, coming in with a surface temperature of 825 degrees Celsius (around 1517 degrees Fahrenheit).

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

Zeroing in on this new find could lead to new techniques being developed to help search for alien worlds.

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