The Very Large Array radio telescope identified a puzzling emission from what it is considered an aurora produced on a baffling colossal space object 12 times more massive than Jupiter and with a magnetic field by 200 times more significant to that of the giant gaseous planet in our solar system. This object, SIMP JO1365663+0933473, which travels at 20 light-years away from Earth, is found at the border between a brown dwarf and a sort of a supermassive exoplanet.
A brown dwarf is a space object that’s too massive to be called a planet, but it’s not presenting a nuclear fusion reaction in its core to be dubbed as a star. Such objects were first theorized in the 60s but were first identified in 1995.
“This object is right at the boundary between a planet and a brown dwarf, or ‘failed star,’ and is giving us some surprises,” stated Melodie Kao, the study’s leading author.
Either a brown dwarf or a supermassive exoplanet, the stunning space object presents a very powerful magnetic field
“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 exoplanets, planets beyond our solar system,” Kao explained.
“We think these mechanisms can work not only in brown dwarfs but also in both gas giant and terrestrial planets,” the scientists added.
A brown dwarf like SIMP JO1365663+0933473 is traveling in space alone, without a companion star, but the presence of another orbiting planet or moon might trigger the same reactions we observe between Jupiter and its moon Io.
However, the supermassive exoplanet or brown dwarf possesses a significant magnetic field by 200 times more potent than Jupiter and has a surface temperature of approximately 825 degrees Celsius.
This space object’s 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,” explained Gregg Hallinan of Caltech.