Although “Star Trek”‘s ‘planet Vulcan’ happens to be fictional, real-life astronomers have just announced that they have indeed found a ‘Class M’ Earth-like planet — right where Vulcan is supposedly located!
The new planet was been found orbiting in the habitable zone around the star HD 26965, also known as 40 Eridani A, the star considered to be the location of Vulcan in “Star Trek.” The finding comes from the Dharma Planet Survey in a new study led by University of Florida astronomer Jian Ge and a team including Tennessee State University astronomers Matthew Muterspaugh and Gregory Henry.
Ge says “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. 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.”
40 Eridani is actually a triple star system with three dwarf stars, and 40 Eridani A is said to be the primary star of the system. It has also long been unofficially considered to be Vulcan’s home star. “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry himself favored the system. It’s been the location of Vulcan in both fan-made and officially licensed books.