There is an absolutely gigantic rogue planet roaming our galactic neighborhood
There is a very strange object floating around our stellar neighborhood and it has intrigued astronomers.
It is very large and has an extremely strong magnetic field, and it is a “thug”, which is not attached to any other object.
And we know this because astronomers detected it using the Very Large Array radio telescope.
Just 20 light years from home, it is the first planetary mass object ever to be detected by radio-fax. But only fair.
At 12.7 times more massive than Jupiter, it sits right on the upper limit of the planets – bordering on brown dwarf territory.
“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,” the astronomer said. Melodie Kao from the State of Arizona. University.
According to a working definition established by the IAU Working Group on Extrasolar Planets, a brown dwarf as an object too small to produce hydrogen fusion, the dominant process that generates energy in stars , but is still large enough for deuterium fusion, a low-temperature process vital for newly formed stars.
They are therefore located between very small stars and very large planets, between about 13 and 80 times the mass of Jupiter, and are sometimes called “failed stars”.
They were also originally thought to give off no radio waves, but in 2001 they were found to be teeming with magnetic activity. Further observations have revealed that brown dwarfs can generate strong auroras.
Here on Earth, auroras are generated by solar winds, which interact with charged particles in our ionosphere. These charged particles travel along the planet’s magnetic field lines to the poles, where they manifest as dancing lights in the sky and produce strong radio emissions.
But as far as we know, brown dwarfs aren’t near stellar winds, which makes their auroras a puzzle.
These are the processes that this new object, named SIMP J01365663 + 0933473, could help astronomers learn more about.
Discovered among a cluster of very young stars, he’s about 200 million years old – just a tiny baby.
And, although it is 12.7 times more massive than Jupiter, it is only a little bigger, with a radius 1.22 times that of our gas giant.
Compared to the Sun’s surface temperature of 5,500 degrees Celsius (9,932 degrees Fahrenheit), it is relatively cool, with a surface temperature of 825 degrees Celsius (approximately 1,517 degrees Fahrenheit).
But its magnetic field is worth a closer look. That’s a whopping 200 times the strength of Jupiter’s magnetic field.
The team believe they have detected radio broadcasts from these auroras, posing a challenge to our understanding of aurora mechanisms in brown dwarfs and exoplanets.
“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,” Kao said.
“We believe that these mechanisms may work not only in brown dwarfs, but also in gas and terrestrial giant planets.”
It’s pretty cool. But the discovery could also have another exciting implication that goes far beyond understanding auroras.
“Detecting SIMP J01365663 + 0933473 with the VLA via its auroral radio broadcast,” said astronomer Gregg Hallinan of Caltech, “also means that we might have a new way to detect exoplanets, including the elusive thugs that don’t orbit not around a parent star. “
The research was published in The Journal of Astrophysics.