Spock's Fictional Home Planet Discovered

A place to call home? The late Leonard Nimoy played the beloved Vulcan Mr. Spock in the Star Trek franchise

"Therefore, HD 26965 may be an ideal host star for an advanced civilization", Tennessee State University astronomer Matthew Muterspaugh said today in a news release.

In the current Star Trek canon, 40 Eridani A is the star that harbors Spock's home planet. Now astronomers on the University of Florida-led Dharma Planet Survey have found something that seems a bit more habitable orbiting 40 Eridani A.

Has the planet Vulcan been found?

"The orange-tinted HD 26965 is only slightly cooler and slightly less massive than our Sun, is approximately the same age as our Sun, and has a 10.1-year magnetic cycle almost identical to the Sun's 11.6-year sunspot cycle", explained Muterspaugh. Now, almost 30 years later, that prediction has proven oddly accurate: a super-Earth type of planet was been discovered orbiting the 40 Eridani star. The main star, 40 Eridani A, is about 84 percent as massive as our sun.

"The new planet is a "super-Earth" orbiting the star HD 26965, which is only 16 light-years from Earth, making it the closest super-Earth orbiting another Sun-like star", says Ge.

'The planet is roughly twice the size of Earth and orbits its star with a 42-day period just inside the star's optimal habitable zone'.

Artist’s concept of fictional planet Vulcan via
Artist’s concept of fictional planet Vulcan via

The astronomers made their find using the 50-inch Dharma Endowment Foundation Telescope on Mount Lemmon in Arizona, and laid out the details in a paper published by the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. But it wasn't until 1991 that show creator Gene Roddenberry himself (backed by a few astrophysicists) penned a letter in scientific support of 40 Eridani as a probable host for Vulcan viability.

"The star around which Vulcan orbits was never identified in the original series or in any of the feature films based on it and so has never been officially established", they wrote. "Like what "Star Trek" imagines, Vulcans stay in the caves".

A senior astronomer at the SETI Institute claimed super-Earths "could very well be the sort of world where life could begin", opined Seth Shostak, but quickly added that the notion of Spock-like creatures abounding on the planet would be highly illogical.

Real-life astronomers may have just discovered the real-life planet Vulcan, the homeworld of the Vulcan race from Star Trek and its most famous member, Spock.

As a "Star Trek" fan, Ge found the Vulcan connection interesting. "Now everyone can see the 40 Eridani a clear night sky and proudly point to the house of Spock". "This planet is nearly two times more Land and makes a full revolution around its star in 42 days, in the optimum point of the habitable zone". Live long and prosper, we say.

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