Giant celestial object discovered outside our solar system

Artist’s conception of SIMP01365 an object with 12.7 times the mass of Jupiter but a magnetic field 200 times more powerful than Jupiter’s. Image credit Chuck Carter Caltech  NRAO  AUI  NSF

Still unclear about their formation, scientists claim that their study showing the auroral radio emissions can further be used to discover more such planets beyond our solar system.

Originally, it was thought that brown dwarfs do not have magnetic fields, but over the past few decades, astronomers have noticed signs of magnetic activity as well as powerful auroras on these stars. 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", stated Melodie Kao, the study's leading author.

Brown stars are not massive enough for its core to sustain nuclear fusion, and big enough to be considered planets, hence their other name, failed stars.

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

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"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 - planets beyond our solar system", added Kao. In terms of physical traits, it's slightly bigger than Jupiter, the largest planet of our stellar neighborhood, but weighs 12 times more than the gas-giant. If you were to stand on it (not a good idea) you'd be subjected to temperatures in excess of 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit.

They were able to determine its mass and determine that the object could be a free-floating planet. The first brown dwarf was discovered in 1995, although they were first theorized in the 1960s. It also has a magnetic field about 200 times as strong as our infamously spotted neighbor's, driving auroras much like our own, except with a lack of a sun, SIMP's auroras are likely caused by magnetic play with one of its own moons. Astronomers found it using the National Science Foundation's Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array radio astronomy observatory in New Mexico. However, the Astrophysical Journal features new research which shows that the object is considered a planet, just one that has an unusually strong magnetic field.

This finding could help to better understand the magnetic processes of stars and planets, Kao believes.

Last year, an independent team of scientists discovered that SIMP J01365663+0933473 was part of a very young group of stars.

The initial contact happened in 2016, when astronomers believed that the planetary mass they recently discovered was a brown dwarf star.

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