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The planet where Mr. Spock lived was an “astronomical illusion.”

The planet where Mr. Spock lived was an “astronomical illusion.”

In 2018, a planet was discovered in the star system 40 Eridani. In Star Trek, this is Mr. Spock's home. New results cast doubt on the existence of the celestial body.

Star Trek fans – also known as Trekkies – need to be strong now: the planet HD 26965, which was discovered in 2018 in the 40 Eridani star system, “most likely” does not exist, NASA has said.

The planet Vulcan, located in the fictional home system of the famous Star Trek character Mr. Spock, was an astronomical illusion caused by the pulsations and tremors of the star itself, which occurred periodically approximately every 42 days.[يُسمى

NASA points to a new study conducted by a scientific team led by astronomer Abigail Burroughs of Dartmouth College, who previously worked at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Accordingly, pulsations are flashes caused by activity on the star's surface – “likely due to the moving of hotter and cooler layers beneath the star's surface.”

According to NASA, the new results emerged from precise measurements using a spectrometer to monitor exoplanets, which the team of scientists has now published.

The instrument is a spectrometer called NEID (pronounced: Nee-ID) that was installed a few years ago on the second largest telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory in southern Arizona in the USA.

Using this tool, researchers can detect small movements of a star, for example, orbiting a planet whose gravity pulls the star sometimes in one direction and sometimes in the other.

With their results, Burroughs researchers confirm the assumptions of the scientists who originally discovered the supposed planet “HD 26965.” They have already warned that the star's activity, which occurs every 42 days, could just be a stellar tremor. More precise measurements such as those now made with the NEID instrument were not yet possible at that time.

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There's a little fun fact pointed out by NASA: Vulcan's destruction has actually been predicted in the Star Trek universe. In the 2009 film Star Trek, a villain named Nero uses an artificially created black hole to wipe out Spock's homeworld.

Exactly where the planet “Volcano” is located and which sun it belongs to is never mentioned in detail in the Star Trek series itself. However, in a letter to an amateur astronomers' magazine in 1991, the series' creator, Gene Roddenberry, confirmed that “40 Eridani” is the sun of Mr. Spock's planet.

Back to reality: Just because researchers deny the existence of “HD 26965” does not mean that there is no planet in the “40 Eridani” star system. Minor planets are difficult to detect using current scientific methods. Researchers may be able to discover a planet in the star system within a few years.