Giant rogue planet discovered roaming space

Not everyone who wanders is lost, but it could be for a newly discovered rogue planet. Scientists have found evidence of a giant planetary mass outside of our solar system that appears to be traveling without any sort of defined orbit or mother star.

This goofy fool of a planet was first discovered by astronomers using the National Science Foundation’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA). From the radio astronomy observatory, scientists were able to capture and study its magnetic activity, the findings of which were made public on Thursday. This is the first time that the observatory’s radio telescope detection has successfully detected a planetary mass object beyond our solar system.

Artist’s impression of SIMP J01365663 + 0933473, an object with 12.7 times the mass of Jupiter, but a magnetic field 200 times more powerful than that of Jupiter. This object is 20 light years from Earth.Caltech / Chuck Carter; NRAO / AUI / NSF

Although the find was a first for the observatory, the object, known as SIMP J01365663 + 0933473, was probably hard to miss given that it is “surprisingly strong magnetic power” of around one. dozen times larger than Jupiter. The planetary mass has earned the nickname “rogue” for being detached from an orbit, parent star, or galactic authority. But just because he’s a celestial anarchist staying outside of a conformist solar system doesn’t mean he can’t offer scientists important new information about his magnetic properties.

“This object is right on the border between a planet and a brown dwarf, or ‘failing star’, and has some surprises in store for us that can potentially help us understand the magnetic processes on stars and planets,” said Melodie Kao, Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow. at Arizona State University and responsible for the study. “This particular object is exciting because studying its dynamo-magnetic mechanisms can give us new insight into how the same type of mechanisms can work on extrasolar planets – planets beyond our solar system.”

Although the SIMP J01365663 + 0933473 was first collected in 2016, it was believed to be only a brown dwarf at the time. Kao’s discovery suggests that it could be classified as a full-fledged planet and may use a better name than SIMP J01365663 + 0933473.

200 million years old and 20 light years from Earth, this rogue planet offers scientists a key to detecting exoplanets, including ones like her that are harder to find because they are not orbiting around. a mother star.

Arline J. Mercier