Glowing Rogue Planet Discovered Near Our Solar System

Brown dwarf or massive exoplanet detected with powerful magnetic field

According to a recent study in The Astrophysical Journal, the rogue planet has a magnetic field nearly 4 million times stronger than Earth's and a mass 12.7 times the size of Jupiter.

The planet is only around 20 light years from Earth, but it's not really doing much besides relaxing in the vastness of space.

The planet is called rogue due to its lack of a parent star, having the distinction of being something between a planet and a brown dwarf, which is an object that has too great of a mass to be called a planet.

Artist's conception of SIMP J01365663 0933473, an object with 12.7 times the mass of Jupiter, but a magnetic field 200 times more powerful than Jupiter's. They say its strong magnetic field likely led to its being detected by a large radio-telescope in New Mexico known as the National Science Foundation's Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA). The first brown dwarf was discovered in 1995, although they were first theorized in the 1960s.

Astronomers mentioned that only a few rogue planets have been discovered until now and according to them, there could be many more such cosmic bodies hiding in the universe, waiting to be discovered, even though at the moment finding such an object is a rare event. 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.

Studies that followed it demonstrated that certain brown dwarfs display strong auroras, similar to the ones seen in the Solar System's giant planets.


It is these radio signatures emitted by the auroras of such rogue objects that allow researchers to detect them.

SIMP's magnetic field is over 200 times that of Jupiter's, notes the report.

Twenty light-years away, a massive, magnetic exoplanet without a sun is generating brilliant auroras that would put Earth's northern lights to shame. After being determined to be much younger and smaller than initially thought, SIMP may be classified as a planet, and not a brown dwarf.

SIMP was first detected in 2016 as one of five brown dwarfs, but it was later believed to be something else after astronomers collected more data to identify its age.

The difference between what constitutes gas giants and brown dwarfs is a matter of serious debate among astronomers, says NRAO.

Astronomer Gregg Hallinan of Caltech noted that the research "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".

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