Astronomers have detected a possible "rogue" planetary-mass object with a surprisingly powerful magnetic field travelling through space unaccompanied by any parent star.
Researchers have discovered a "rogue" planet outside of our solar system using the Very Large Array (VLA), the first time such a discovery has been made using a radio telescope.
It's thought that SIMP J01365663+0933473 is only 200 million years-old and is just 20 light-years away from Earth.
The temperature on its surface is more than 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Brown dwarfs have long baffled experts because they're too big to be considered planets but are not big enough to be stars. Originally detected in 2016, it was one of five brown dwarfs that astronomers studied using the VLA.
The rogue body is almost large enough to be considered a gas giant planet and it offers researchers the opportunity to study these massive objects, shedding light on their magnetic realities. The first brown dwarf was discovered in 1995, although they were first theorized in the 1960s.
A massive glowing "rogue" planetary-mass object has been discovered, surprising scientists with not only its size, but also the fact it's not orbiting a star. Last year, an independent team of scientists discovered that it was actually part of a young group of stars and less massive.
Astronomers originally came to the conclusion that the object was a brown dwarf because of its mass and because it does not revolve around a star like a planet typically does.
Simultaneously, Dr. Kao's team observed SIMP0136 in a new study at even higher radio frequencies and confirmed that its magnetic field was even stronger than first measured - more than 200 times stronger than Jupiter's. It is the radio signature of these auroras that allowed the researchers to detect these objects.
Kao added, "We think these mechanisms can work not only in brown dwarfs, but also in both gas giant and terrestrial planets". One theory is that auroras happen when a planet or moon interacts with the brown dwarf's magnetic field.
Similar to the Northern Lights, this planet and some brown dwarves are known to have auroras of their own - despite lacking the solar winds that are known to drive them.