Astronomers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have recently concluded that the upcoming planet-finding mission, SIM PlanetQuest, would be able to detect an Earth-like planet around the star 40 Eridani, a planet familiar to “Star Trek” fans as “Vulcan.” 40 Eridani, a triple-star system 16 light-years from Earth, includes a red-orange K dwarf star slightly smaller and cooler than our sun. Vulcan is thought to orbit that dwarf star, called 40 Eridani A.
Yeah, the Trek geek and the science groupie in me both perked up their ears at that.
Even cooler? I actually know people who are working on SIM.
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but working at JPL? Rocks beyond all imagining.
BTW, if y’all are in the L.A. area this weekend, check out JPL’s Open House. I’ve been twice, before my days as a JPL contractor, and it is tons of geeky fun. I highly recommend it. I don’t know if I’ll be there – I’ve broached it to HSTeacher, but we haven’t talked about it yet.