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Vulcan,* Omicron2 Eridani, 40 Eridani

Proper NamesKeid, Vulcan
Bayer DesignationOmicron2 Eridani
Flamsteed Number40 Eridani
HR (BSC)1325
Right Ascension4h 15m 16s
Declination-7° 39' 10"
Distance16.3 light years
5.0 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +4.42
Absolute: +5.92
Spectral ClassK0.5V orange dwarf
Optimum VisibilityDecember
Planets in this systemKeid b (40 Eridani A b), super Earth (unconfirmed)
NotesOmicron2 Eridani is a triple system, with the primary star (to which the name Keid formally applies) being an orange dwarf. It is orbited at a distance of some 400 AU by a binary pair of companions, one of which is a low-mass red flare star, while the other is a white dwarf (and in fact historically the first white dwarf to be identified).

Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas

Location of Keid

Keid, a variable star near the 'source' of the River Eridanus. Its companion Beid, though it appears close in the sky, is actually more than a hundred light years further away than Keid.

An triple star in the northern parts of Eridanus. It is a near neighbour to the somewhat better-known Ran or Epsilon Eridani, and so is close to Earth's Solar System at just sixteen light years' distance.

* The name 'Vulcan' for this star comes from the lore of the TV series Star Trek, in which it is said to be orbited by the home planet of Mr Spock and his kind. 'Vulcan' is not therefore a traditional name, but it is found in some catalogues, and is therefore included here. There are in fact (as yet unconfirmed) indications of a massive terrestrial planet in orbit around the primary star of this triple system, but its orbit would place it rather too close to the orange star to be realistically habitable.


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