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Gigantic, Rogue Planet nearly 12x as Massive as Jupiter Discovered Just Outside our Solar System

In an unprecedented study recently published in The Astrophysical Journal, it was revealed that a gigantic planet with “no star” is gently nudging our solar system, possibly even explaining the gravitational pull noticed on dwarf planets in our solar system, or the hypothetical 9th planet.

Scientists used a radio telescope to detect the object that is measured to be almost 12 times as massive as Jupiter: they titled it “SIMP J01365663+0933473,” or SIMP. Being referred to as a “rogue celestial body,” it doesn’t seem to orbit any particular star at all, it’s more stuck in a state of limbo.

Just cursory observations of this planet’s characteristics reveal it has bright, glowing auroras and a powerful magnetic field.

The astronomers have estimated its distance from Earth at around 20 light years away, and its age to be about 200 million years old.

With a very hot estimated surface temperature of 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit, it actually falls into the classification as “right at the boundary between a planet and a brown dwarf, or ‘failed star,’” as phrased by an author of the study, Melodie Kao. “This object…is giving us some surprises that can potentially help us understand magnetic processes on both stars and planets,” the statement continued.

According to Newsweek:

“Kao led the research while studying at the California Institute of Technology. Now, she’s a Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow at Arizona State University. Kao and her team used the National Science Foundation’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array to probe the planet’s radio emissions.”

Before this, it was believed by researchers that “SIMP” was a brown dwarf star. Now, observations have shown that it’s just small enough to be reasonably considered a planet although it seems to orbit no star.

In terms of radius, it is 1.22 times that of Jupiter with a mass 12.7 times greater than Jupiter.

Brown dwarf stars are considered to be around the size of 13 times Jupiter’s mass or greater. They don’t possess the mass necessary to generate the energy that stars really put out, with hydrogen fusion reactions.

The magnetic field of this planet however, is even more strong than an object of its kind. The radio observations of SIMP’s magnetic field show that it is about 200 times more powerful than that of Jupiter.

The aurora one can see on our own planet, the “northern lights” or southern lights that result from our planet’s magnetic field interacting with the particle-rich solar wind, is different from this.

Without a sun to blast this planet with particles from a solar wind, the researchers believe some moon or “planet” orbiting SIMP must be influencing the powerful magnetism.

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An academic cited by one article, Gregg Hallinan of Caltech said that this study “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.”

It seems that the technique of choosing to focus on auroral radio emissions could help researchers located planets that haven’t been detected yet.

It seems like detecting planets in the sky is a quite solid, verifiable way to collect scientific information: it can probably be seen, understood, and verified to be true evidence quite easily by an average person. Some things that become the official narrative are less easy to confirm, so verifiable information is relieving.

 

(Image credit: themindmuseumbgc, reddit., newsweek)

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