Huge glowing “rogue” planet spotted “drifting” in space


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A huge “rogue” planet with an unexplained “glow” lurks beyond our solar system, scientists say.

The monstrously large world is 12 times the size of Jupiter and the first such object to be spotted using a radio telescope, according to the National Radio Astronomical Observatory.

They nickname it “rogue” because it mysteriously “drifts” in space without any sort of orbit around a parent star.

Even more disconcerting is its mass and powerful magnetic field, which is more than 200 times stronger than that of Jupiter.

Uncovering its secrets could lead to the discovery of more alien worlds, scientists say.

“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 Dr Melodie. Kao, an astronomer at Arizona State University.

Brown dwarfs have long puzzled scientists: they are too huge to be considered planets and not large enough to be considered stars.

They also have strong auroras – similar to the amazing “Northern Lights” on Earth – like those seen on the giant planets of our own solar system, Jupiter and Saturn.

Auroras on our planet are caused by its magnetic field interacting with the solar wind (the continuous flow of charged particles from the sun’s upper atmosphere, known as the corona, that permeates the solar system).

Kao’s team used an advanced radio telescope located in New Mexico to make the discovery. They say the new world is 200 million years old and 20 light years from Earth.

It also boasts scorching surface temperatures of around 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit. By comparison, the sun’s surface temperature is around 9,900 degrees Fahrenheit.

Although it was first detected in 2016, scientists initially identified it as one of five recently discovered brown dwarfs.

This theory was dropped, however, after exploring more data to better determine his age.

They now believe that it is a much younger object and therefore its mass is smaller than originally thought, which means that it could theoretically be classified as a separate planet. whole.

Such a powerful magnetic field “presents enormous challenges for our understanding of the dynamo mechanism that produces magnetic fields in brown dwarfs and exoplanets and helps drive the auroras we see,” said Gregg Hallinan of Caltech.

He continued, “Detecting SIMP J01365663 + 0933473 with the VLA via its auroral radio broadcast also means that we might have a new way of detecting exoplanets, including the elusive thugs that don’t orbit a parent star.”

“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 in extrasolar planets – planets beyond our solar system,” Kao added.

“We believe that these mechanisms may work not only in brown dwarfs, but also on gas and terrestrial giant planets. “

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Arline J. Mercier