Friday, 22 February, 2019

Astronomers Discover New Planet Not Orbiting Any Star

Scientists discover a free-range planet with incredible magnetism Scientists discover a free-range planet with incredible magnetism
Theresa Hayes | 08 August, 2018, 22:45

A brown dwarf is a space object that's too massive to be called a planet, but it's not presenting a nuclear fusion reaction in its core to be dubbed as a star. And according to a recently published study in The Astrophysical Journal, this odd, nomadic world has an incredibly powerful magnetic field that is some 4 million times stronger than Earth's. Its surface seems to be about 825 degrees Celsius, while the Sun's surface reaches the 5,500.

SIMP is 20 light-years from Earth and has a surface temperature of more than 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit.

So what exactly is this rogue object?

The study's findings have been published in the Astrophysical Journal.

Yet to be given a catchy name by the scientists that have observed it through the National Science Foundation's advanced radio telescope arrays, the object is officially known as SIMP J01365663+0933473.

Brown dwarfs were predicted to exist all the way in the 1960s, but the first one was only discovered in 1995, confirming the initial theories.

"This object is right at the boundary between a planet and a brown dwarf, or "failed star", and is giving us some surprises", Dr Melodie Kao and astronomer at Arizona State University told The Independent.

The difference between what constitutes gas giants and brown dwarfs is a matter of serious debate among astronomers, says NRAO.

The planet is considered to be a rogue one because it does not have an orbit around a parent star, unlike the planets of the solar system.

A further study carried out a year ago revealed that SIMP was part of a young group of stars.

They now believe it's a much younger object and its mass is, therefore, smaller than originally thought - meaning it could theoretically be classified as a planet in its own right.

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. It is the radio signature of these auroras that allowed the researchers to detect these objects. Some brown dwarfs have powerful auroras like those seen around the poles of Earth, Jupiter and Saturn caused by the interactions of a planet's magnetic field and the electrically charged solar wind.

"Given its size, this object is just at the edge between a planet and a brown dwarf".