Astronomers have discovered an analogue of the planet Vulcan from Star Trek

© University of FloridaТак the artist has imagined the planet Vulcan in the constellation of EridanusAstronomers have discovered an analogue of the planet Vulcan from Star Trek© University of FloridaПодпишись to daily updates RIA Science

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Scientists have discovered a very unusual «super-Earth» a short distance from the Ground, similar in their appearance and position on the famous Volcano, home of Mr. Spock from Star Trek. Their findings have been presented in the journal MNRAS.

«Fans of Star trek are familiar with this star system – it is here, as indicated by the various cards, and the show’s Creator, gene Rodenberry should be the planet Vulcan. It is, as in the TV series, and reality, revolves around the Central star of this triple system,» says Gregory Henry (Gregory Henry), astronomer from the University of Tennessee in Nashville (United States).

In recent years, as they say scientists, the «Kepler» telescope and several ground-based observatories have discovered thousands of planets outside the Solar system. Most of them were «hot Jupiters», large gas giants, or «supersense» – rocky planets, whose mass is 1.8-3 times larger than the earth.

Despite this, astronomers managed to detect a few dozen potentially habitable planets, many of which resemble in their appearance the various planets of sci-Fi books, TV shows and movies. For example, today scientists know about the existence of about a dozen analogues of Tatooine from Star wars – planets orbiting multiple stars simultaneously.

Henry and his colleagues added to their number and the potential home of Mr. Spock, one of the main characters of the series Star Trek, by studying the data obtained by the project Dharma Planet Survey in the framework of the observations closest to the Earth stars.

Participants in this initiative for several years trying to find traces of the existence of exoplanets, orbiting in an elongated or distant orbits around distant stars, watching the small periodic shifts in their spectrum, associated with gravitational interactions of stars and their satellites.

Only now they managed to open the first planet, watching HD 26965, or 40 Eridani, a nearby triple star systems in relation to the Sun and the Earth. This stellar «family» consists of one sun-like star and a white and a red dwarf orbiting a larger star.

Three years ago, scientists noticed unusual changes in the spectrum of this star, not associated with its gravitational interactions with the dwarfs. This led them to assume that next to the «cousin of the Sun» may be hiding a planet located a relatively close relation to that luminary.

As shown by repeated observation, it was true – around 40 Eridani A large rotating earth-like planet, whose mass is about 8 times higher than that of the Earth. It is inside the Central part of the «zone of life» and makes one revolution around the sun in about 42 days.

According to Henry and colleagues, the temperature will be quite high, but livable, what makes it similar to the Volcano, the mythical home of Spock, located in the same star system. Scientists assume that this «Volcano» has a relatively high chance that on the surface there is extraterrestrial life because its star is very similar to the Sun in nature and the level of magnetic and flare activity.

Further observations of «Vulcan», as scientists hope, will help us to discover its composition and to understand what conditions prevail at the surface, which is critical to assess its habitability.

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