It's very large, and has an extremely strong magnetic field, and it's a "rogue", not attached to any other object.
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. It is travelling through space unaccompanied by any parent star.
Brown dwarfs, explains the NRAO, are celestial objects that are too big to actually be considered planets, yet not big enough to sustain the nuclear fusion that keeps stars alive in their cores.
It's thought that SIMP J01365663+0933473 is only 200 million years-old and is just 20 light-years away from Earth.
Compared to the Sun's 5,500-degree-Celsius surface temperature (9,932 degrees Fahrenheit), it's relatively cool, coming in with a surface temperature of 825 degrees Celsius (around 1517 degrees Fahrenheit). The object is about twelve times as massive as Jupiter and has a surprisingly powerful magnetic field.
Using the radio astronomy observatory VLA (Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, National Science Foundation), scientists could pick up the magnetic activity of the planetary mass and studied it.
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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.
Like this story? Share it with a friend! They are originally formed inside a star system but somehow escaped.
But as far as we know, brown dwarfs aren't in the vicinity of any stellar winds, making their auroras something of a puzzle.
"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". However, solitary brown dwarfs do not have a solar wind from a nearby star to interact with. Brown dwarfs, hard to categorise, are too huge to be classified as planets and not big enough to be classified as stars. But this new data seems to show it's a much younger object and its mass was therefore a lot smaller - meaning it could theoretically be classified as a planet in its own right.
The first of such astronomical bodies was observed in 1995 and the scientists are still trying to understand more about the radio emissions and magnetic fields of five brown dwarves.