Planet Declared Last May Does Not Actually Exist

red-star-illustration-vb10A planet six times the size of our own sun and that was thought to be orbiting the distant star VB10 last May was found out to be non-existent, Nature News reports.

The team of Steven Pravdo of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, claimed that an exoplanet is orbiting the star seven months ago using astrometry. A separate team led by Jacob Bean at the Georg-August University in Gottingen, Germany, declared that the planet was there after studying the star using a separate technique called radial velocity.

Astrometry measures the side-to-side motion of a star on the sky to see whether any unseen bodies might be orbiting it while radial velocity looks for shifts in the lines of a star’s absorption spectrum to track its motion towards and away from Earth, which would be caused by the influence of a planet.

The non-existence of the planet is a blow to the field of astrometry for looking for undiscovered heavenly bodies as opposed to centuries-old ground astronomy technique.