Huge Planet's Aurora 200 Times as Strong as Jupiter's

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Huge Planet's Aurora 200 Times as Strong as Jupiter's

A mysterious large object is floating around outside our solar system and researchers aren't sure exactly what it is - although it could be a rogue planet. As a result, they wander alone through space. A light year is equal to about 6 trillion miles.

"This object is right at the boundary between a planet and a brown dwarf, or 'failed star, ' and is giving us some surprises that can potentially help us understand magnetic processes on both stars and planets", said Dr Melodie Kao, an astronomer at Arizona State University.

The object was originally detected in 2016 as one of five brown dwarfs the scientists studied with Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope.

The scientists found that the object's magnetic field is more than 200 times stronger than Jupiter's, which, in turn, is between 16 and 54times stronger than Earth's, according to NASA.

At just 20 light years from home, this marks the first planetary-mass object that has ever been detected using radio telescopy.

The exact difference between a large gas planet and a brown dwarf is a bone of contention for scientists, with debate raging over what defines one or the other.

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.

Finding a solitary planet - called a "rogue" planet - is more hard, but researchers just managed to spot one using a radio telescope, and it's a real weirdo.

Once more data was obtained, the idea that SIMP J01365663+0933473 was a brown dwarf was scrapped.

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

Brown dwarf masses are notoriously hard to measure, and at the time, the object was thought to be an old and much more massive brown dwarf.

Zeroing in on this new find could lead to new techniques being developed to help search for alien worlds.

The team is particularly excited by the new research because it relies in part on radio observations of the object's auroras - which means that radio telescopes may be able to identify new planets by their auroras.

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. Brown dwarfs, hard to categorise, are too huge to be classified as planets and not big enough to be classified as stars.

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