"This object is right at the boundary between a planet and a brown dwarf, or 'failed star, ' and is giving us some surprises", said Melodie Kao, who led a recent study while a graduate student at Caltech.
It was first detected using a radio telescope, the National Science Foundation's Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array.
The VLA observations provided both the first radio detection and the first measurement of the magnetic field of a possible planetary mass object beyond our Solar System. If you were to stand on it (not a good idea) you'd be subjected to temperatures in excess of 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit.
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Artist's conception of SIMP01365, an object with 12.7 times the mass of Jupiter, but a magnetic field 200 times more powerful than Jupiter's. 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 surprising find is peculiar because it could be a planet or a brown dwarf.
Astronomers have discovered a planet outside our solar system that is 12 times the size of Jupiter, striking not only for its size but also for the fact that it is not orbiting any star. The first ever sighting of a Brown Dwarf happened as late as 1995.
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Astronomers have discovered a rogue planet that's nearly too big to be considered a planet - and to top it off, the rogue object is a magnetic powerhouse. Last year, an independent team of scientists discovered that it was actually part of a young group of stars and less massive. The mysterious auroras of the planet, or rather their radio signature, is what allowed the scientists to identify the planet, but for now it is still not known how these auroras are formed. They also have strong auroras, similar to the northern lights that can be seen on Earth.
Astronomers have discovered a massive planet with a unusual glow just outside the solar system, where it is just drifting without any kind of orbit.
She continued: "We think these mechanisms can work not only in brown dwarfs, but also in both gas giant and terrestrial planets".
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"Such a strong magnetic field presents huge challenges to our understanding of the dynamo mechanism that produces the magnetic fields in brown dwarfs and exoplanets and helps drive the auroras we see", said Caltech astronomer Gregg Hallinan.