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BBC Radio 4

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Insight, analysis and expert debate as key policy makers are challenged on the latest news stories. From BBC Radio 4's Today programme

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Aurora discovery 'helps search for planets'

July 30th, 2015

Episode 516 of 1333 episodes

The phenomenon that causes the 'northern lights' has been spotted outside of our solar system for the first time. The display was spotted around a brown dwarf, which is a middle ground between a star and a planet, Dr Stuart Littlefair told the Today programme. "We’ve proved that this auroral process exists outside our solar system," said the University of Sheffield astronomer. This helps us a lot with our search for planets around other stars as we can look for the radio emissions from the auroras, explained Dr Littlefair.

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