Earth-Like Planet close to Us discovered by International team of astronomers. A planetary system around the star Tau Ceti, with at least one of the planets orbiting in the habitable zone. An artist’s impression of the Tau Ceti system. Image credit: J. Pinfield for the RoPACS network at the University of Hertfordshire, 2012
Tau Ceti is a Star “very close” to Earth, 12 light-years away, in the constellation Cetus, pectrally similar to the Sun, although it has only about 78% of the Sun’s mass.
We can see it with the naked eye at night.
According to UCSC:
The international team of astronomers from the United Kingdom, Chile, United States, and Australia, combined more than six-thousand observations from three different instruments and intensively modeled the data. Using new techniques, the team has found a method to detect signals half the size previously thought possible. This greatly improves the sensitivity of searches for small planets and suggests that Tau Ceti is not a lone star but has a planetary system. The team presented its findings in a paper that has been accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics.
“This discovery is in keeping with our emerging view that virtually every star has planets, and that the galaxy must have many such potentially habitable Earth-sized planets,” said coauthor Steve Vogt, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz. “We are now beginning to understand that nature seems to overwhelmingly prefer systems that have multiple planets with orbits of less than 100 days. This is quite unlike our own solar system, where there is nothing with an orbit inside that of Mercury. So our solar system is, in some sense, a bit of a freak and not the most typical kind of system that Nature cooks up.”