The planet Vulcan? Wasn’t that where Mr. Spock form Star Trek came from? Wasn't Vulcan just a made-up planet by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry? There is another planet Vulcan? The answer is yes and no, here’s what I think…
The story of the planet Vulcan, (Vulcan by the way, was the Roman god of fire) actually begins over 200 years ago in 1781. It was the discovery of the planet Uranus by astronomer William Herschel that really got the Vulcan thing going. Soon after its discovery many astronomers began to study Uranus, It was soon clear to these astronomers that Uranus was performing oddly. Physicists had predicted its orbit and were surprised to find it was orbiting the sun in a matter not consistent with the physics of Sir Isaac Newton. Surely the physics of
In the 1840’s famed astronomer Urbain Jean Joseph LeVerrier of
In the years that followed s spattering of Vulcan sightings were reported and some text books even began to include Vulcan on their list of planets.
Back in 1846, LeVerrier pointed to the heavens predicting a new planet (
Now we know that the answer to the orbital deviations were proven by Einstein (in 1915) to be due to relativistic effects of the Sun's huge mass bending space-time. These same effects are utterly trivial for planets further away from the Sun.
Well there you have it, but who knows what may turn up in the future to alter my opinion, that’s why I invite you to keep an open mind and keep walking in this big weird world of ours!
I’m Average Joe