Although Lalande 21185 is almost 200 times dimmer than the Sun, it is among the brightest red dwarfs in the solar neighborhood. Moving perpendicular to the galactic plane at a high velocity of 47 km/s, Lalande 21185 appears to belong to the Galaxy's thick disk population and to be considerably older than the Sun. It has both a high radial velocity, of 86 km/s toward the Sun, and a high tangential velocity (proper motion) of 57 km/s. The former is bringing the star 0.028 light-year closer to us each century and to a closest approach of about 4.6 light-years in 22,000 A.D.
After analyzing 50 years of astrometric observations of the star, George Gatewood and colleagues of the Allegheny Observatory suggested (1996) that Lalande 21185 is orbited by two Jupiter-like planets, a and b, though the evidence for b is weaker than that for
Lalande 21185 in fictionIn Star Light, a novel by Hal Clement, Lalande 21185 is orbited by a planet called Dhrawn, which has an extremely high gravitational pull.
In the fictional universe of Star Trek, on several occasions in the year 2364, viewscreen readouts aboard the starship USS Enterprise-D show the location of Lalande 21185 in the form of charts from the Enterprise library computer. (TNG: "The Naked Now", "The Last Outpost", "Conspiracy"). [From Memory Alpha.]
Related entry nearest stars
Related categories NOTABLE STARS
EXTRASOLAR PLANETS AND SUBSTELLAR OBJECTS
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