Astrophysicists have not yet figured out what it is.
A celestial object nearly twelve times larger than Jupiter was found floating in space about twenty light-years from Earth. According to the astrophysicists, it would be a free object of planetary mass, an object possessing the mass of a planet but which is not gravitationally attached to any star or brown dwarf. It is quietly wandering through space as an independent object.
First seen in 2016 using the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile, this “planet” named SIMP J01365663 + 0933473 was initially mistaken for a brown dwarf: an object too big to be considered a planet and too small to be considered a star.
“Given its size, this object is just at the edge between a planet and a brown dwarf. It probably has its share of surprises that can help us understand the magnetic processes taking place on countless stars and planets,” said astrophysicist Melodie Kao.
The exact nature of this object remains to be determined. According to the observations, it would be younger than thought, and would be “only” 200 million years old. As for its temperature, it would be much colder than that of the sun. Finally, it would have a powerful magnetic field, whose strength would be 200 times greater than that of Jupiter.