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Scientists baffled by ‘rogue planet’ outside the solar system

08 August 2018

A massive "rogue" planet with an unexplained "glow" has been seen drifting alone through space, scientists claim. The curious thing about this planet is not just its enormous size but also the fact it doesn't appear to orbit any star.

The massive planet is 20 light years away from Earth. Brown dwarf planets are sometimes called "failed stars" because they're almost large enough for fusion to begin taking place in their core, but that's not even the most unique thing about this particular planet.

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

"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", Kao said.

Simultaneously, Dr. Kao's team observed SIMP0136 in a new study at even higher radio frequencies and confirmed that its magnetic field was even stronger than first measured - more than 200 times stronger than Jupiter's.

Though not as hot as our Sun, this newly discovered object is quite toasty at about 1,500 degree Fahrenheit.

While we now have limited visibility of celestial objects situated outside our solar system, new advanced telescopes are in making, and they will allow us to further analyze and observe space phenomena. Whether it is a massive exoplanet or a brown dwarf is not yet clear.

The object, named SIMP J01365663+0933473, has 12.7 times the mass of the gas giant Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. Scientists detected the enormous planet from the US -based Very Large Array observatory.

SIMP's magnetic field is over 200 times that of Jupiter's, notes the report.

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

Auroras on Earth, known as the northern and southern lights, rely on a constant flow of energetic charged particles coming from the Sun, called solar wind.

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

Kao heard those results when she was looking at the newest data from the radio astronomy observatory, which helped the researchers determine the strong magnetic field.

Scientists baffled by ‘rogue planet’ outside the solar system