The Next Big Future article Rogue Exoplanet 12.7 times bigger than Jupiter is 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. They found a rogue planet 12.7 times the mass of Jupiter twenty light years from earth.
It is at the boundary of Jovian objects and Brown dwarf stars.
Last year, an independent team of scientists discovered that SIMP J01365663+0933473 was part of a very young group of stars. Its young age meant that it was in fact so much less massive that it could be a free-floating planet — only 12.7 times more massive than Jupiter, with a radius 1.22 times that of Jupiter. At 200 million years old and 20 light-years from Earth, the object has a surface temperature of about 825 degrees Celsius, or more than 1500 degrees Fahrenheit. By comparison, the Sun’s surface temperature is about 5,500 degrees Celsius.
The difference between a gas giant planet and a brown dwarf remains hotly debated among astronomers, but one rule of thumb that astronomers use is the mass below which deuterium fusion ceases, known as the “deuterium-burning limit”, around 13 Jupiter masses.
In the spirit of
- Do astronomers generally agree that the distinction between comets and astroids is not so clear?
- Is this object an asteroid or comet, and how can it produce so many tails?
and the relatively recent reclassification of Pluto as a dwarf planet and not a planet proper, I'd like to ask what are the ways that have are currently proposed and given consideration to distinguish between a really big planet and a really small star?
Is the "rule of thumb" proposed in the block quote the leading contender or are there other definitions that receive a similar amount of support