Rogue ‘Failed Star’ is More Than It Appears

Rogue ‘Failed Star’ is More Than It Appears

A nearby failed star is raising a lot of questions for astronomers.

SIMP J01365663+0933473 is a brown dwarf—larger than a planet but not large enough to fuse hydrogen like a star—only 20 light years from Earth. It is a youngster at 200 million years old, with a mass 12.7 times Jupiter’s and a magnetic field more than 200 times stronger than Jupiter’s. It does not orbit any star, and produces very distinct auras.

Astrophysicist Melodie Kao of Arizona State University stated that “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. We think these mechanisms can work not only in brown dwarfs, but also in both gas giant and terrestrial planets.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *