Rogue giant exoplanet or brown dwarf discovered about 20 light years away

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Using the Jansky VLA radio telescope astronomers have detected evidence of rogue giant exoplanet or brown dwarf about 20 light years away

Astronomers using the National Science Foundation’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) have made the first radio-telescope detection of a planetary-mass object beyond our Solar System. The object, about a dozen times more massive than Jupiter, is a surprisingly strong magnetic powerhouse and a “rogue,” traveling through space unaccompanied by any parent star.

“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, who led this study while a graduate student at Caltech, and is now a Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow at Arizona State University.

The data is not sufficient yet to determine whether this is an exoplanet or a brown dwarf. It is big, and it is floating independent of any other objects, which makes it interesting in of itself.


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