Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Astronomers discover freakish rogue planet glowing with auroras

There Is an Absolutely Gigantic Rogue Planet Wandering Our Galactic Neighbourhood Mysterious 'rogue' planet spotted outside solar system
Sandy Nunez | 07 August, 2018, 11:39

The rogue body is almost large enough to be considered a gas giant planet and it offers researchers the opportunity to study these massive objects, shedding light on their magnetic realities.

A rogue planet more than 12 times the size of Jupiter (artist's impression pictured) has been spotted hurling through space. Astronomers say the rogue planet is located 20 light-years from Earth and is about 200 million years old - which, in the grand scheme of things, is considered young for a planet. A light year is equal to about 6 trillion miles.

A brown dwarf is an object too large to be a planet, but isn't big enough to sustain the nuclear fusion of hydrogen in its core that is vital to stars.

It's believed that the magnetic dynamo mechanisms of this particular space object will help scientists discover more planets beyond our solar system using auroral radio emissions.

The planetary-mass object has been classified as rogue meaning it's free-floating and is not hitched to any parent star.

They were also initially thought not to give off any radio waves, but in 2001, they were discovered to be absolutely teeming with magnetic activity.

Further research however, saw that one of the objects, called SIMP J01365663+0933473, was considerably younger and smaller than the others.

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This rogue planet, and some brown dwarves are known to have auroras of their own despite lacking solar winds.

More baffling still is its mass and powerful magnetic field that's over 200 times stronger than Jupiter's.

Brown dwarf masses are notoriously hard to measure, and at the time, SIMP0136 was thought to be an old and much more massive brown dwarf.

On the team with Kao and Hallinan were J. Sebastian Pineda, now at the University of Colorado Boulder, David Stevenson of Caltech, and Adam Burgasser of the University of California San Diego. The temperature on that planet is about 825 degrees Celsius, which makes it a lot cooler than out Sun.

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

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

This limit is around 13 Jupiter masses, so at 12.7 the newly identified planet was brushing right up against it.