In 1966 a tv present referred to as Star Trek made its debut, introducing followers of the present to a personality named Spock, who hailed from a planet named Vulcan, which orbited a star referred to as 40 Eridani A. The planet and star have been based mostly on an actual star of the identical title. In 2018, to a lot acclaim, astronomers found an exoplanet orbiting the star, giving rise to the existence of what many referred to as a “actual planet Vulcan.”
Regardless of the joy round that discovery, a brand new examine at the moment printed on the preprint server arXiv claims that the precise planet Vulcan doesn’t exist in spite of everything and that the readings have been incorrect someway. The planet, which scientists referred to as 40 Eri b, was lately the focal point as a bunch of researchers started trying by means of a listing of exoplanets that NASA is contemplating for nearer examine.
In fact, learning the true planet Vulcan would have been thrilling, so it isn’t stunning that the exoplanet would have made a listing of this type. Sadly, any pleasure round a deeper examine of the planet will now be dulled by these claims that it doesn’t even exist. The planet was initially believed to exist based mostly on an evaluation that used radial velocity to check the wavelengths of sunshine emitted by the star.
Primarily based on that evaluation, many believed that an exoplanet, later referred to as Vulcan by Star Trek followers, orbited the star, inflicting a gravitational tug on the star. Nevertheless, when revisiting that discovery, researchers discovered that the pull was more than likely as a consequence of exercise on the star’s floor, not proof of an present exoplanet round it.
As such, for now, it looks like the sage of the true planet Vulcan might have ended. In fact, this discovery doesn’t imply that there isn’t an exoplanet there. Future research of 40 Eridani A may reveal one other attainable exoplanet within the space. It’s additionally price noting that this examine hasn’t been featured in a peer-reviewed journal, so the information right here may require extra evaluation.
Both means, such a discovery is disheartening for Star Trek followers who cherished the concept that Spock’s planet, Vulcan, may truly exist in some type. With the ability to join issues from films and tv exhibits to our actual world will help foster higher connections to these fictional issues.
However, there’s nonetheless a ton of exploration left to be carried out inside our universe, and with telescopes just like the James Webb, we’re positive to see extra revelations within the coming months and years. Maybe we’ll lastly discover our photo voltaic system’s ninth planet, and even show that the planet Vulcan does truly exist, simply not the place we thought. The probabilities are, fairly actually, astronomical.