techkenyot.com
techkenyot.com February 20, 2019


Scientists discover "rogue planet" outside solar system

07 August 2018, 11:39 | Edward Lowe

Scientists discover "rogue planet" outside solar system

SIMP J01365663+0933473 shown here in this artist’s concept is a massive nearby exoplanet with a powerful aurora-generating magnetic field

The new discovery can make boffins believe that they may have a novel way of detecting and finding exoplanets, including rogue ones that are hard to identify since they are not orbiting a parent star like the planets do in our solar system.

When astronomers are searching the depths of space for new objects it's typically easier to find undiscovered planets if they're orbiting a star.

The massive planet is 20 light years away from Earth.

Astronomers have detected a possible "rogue" planetary-mass object with a surprisingly powerful magnetic field travelling through space unaccompanied by any parent star. Brown dwarves are hard objects to categorise they are too huge to be considered planets and not big enough to be considered stars.

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What's really special about that planet with the big long name is that it has a magnetic field 200 times stronger than even the mighty Jupiter.

They say its strong magnetic field likely led to its being detected by a large radio-telescope in New Mexico known as the National Science Foundation's Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA).

Brown dwarfs are objects too massive to be considered planets, yet not massive enough to sustain nuclear fusion of hydrogen in their cores - the process that powers stars. They are originally formed inside a star system but somehow escaped.

On the team with Kao and Hallinan were J. Sebastian Pineda, now at the University of Colorado Boulder, David Stevenson of Caltech, and Adam Burgasser of the University of California San Diego.

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Last year, Dr. Artigau's team discovered that the object was part of a very young group of stars. At its size, it's right between the size of a planet and a failed star, so scientists will need to study it further to determine exactly what it is.

Furthermore, the huge exoplanet - which is slightly bigger than Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system - has an extremely powerful magnetic field, more than 200 times stronger than that of our gas giant.

"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", added Kao.

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. It also has a surface temperature of 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to minus 234 degrees Fahrenheit for Jupiter and 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit for the Sun.

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