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Vulcan (planet)

At one point it was suspected that there existed a small planet that orbited between Mercury and the Sun, proposed to explain perturbations in Mercury's orbit from the path predicted by classical mechanics. This hypothetical planet was known as Vulcan.

This idea and the name "Vulcan" was postulated by the French astronomer LeVerrier in 1859 and various persons attempted to prove the existence of said planet until ~1915, when Einstein's theory of relativity explained the perturbations.

The name was later reused for the fictional home planet of the Vulcan race in Star Trek. According to Gene Roddenberry, Vulcan orbits the star 40 Eridani, or Epsilon Eridani. In 1998, scientists detected a "wobble" in the motion of the star, indicating that a planet may indeed orbit it.

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