Strange ‘rogue planet’ travels through space alone

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By Ashley Strickland

A strange 200 million-year-old object with the mass of a planet has been discovered 20 light-years from Earth, outside our solar system. The “rogue,” as it’s referred to by researchers, is producing an unexplained glowing aurora and travels through space alone, without a parent star.

The object, named SIMP J01365663+0933473, has 12.7 times the mass of the gas giant Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. It also has a strong magnetic field that is more than 200 times stronger than Jupiter’s.

The temperature on its surface is more than 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Although this sounds hot, it’s quite cool compared with the sun’s surface temperature of about 9,932 degrees Fahrenheit.

So what exactly is this rogue object?

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1 COMMENT

  1. @ OP link – Brown dwarfs are often considered too massive to be planets, but they aren’t quite massive enough to sustain the process of hydrogen nuclear fusion at their core, which powers stars.
    The first brown dwarf was discovered in 1995, although they were first theorized in the 1960s.
    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 Melodie Kao, study author and Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow at Arizona State University, in a statement.

    I think this would explain the surface temperature and the glow!

    BTW: When are Americans going to dump the antiquated Fahrenheit, and use the modern KELVIN scale for temperatures!

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