Tau Ceti is a star that is very similar to our current sun. It’s roughly 78% of the Sun’s mass, has a similar temperature and is just under 12 light years away from our solar system.
Astronomers believe they have recently detected 5 planets orbiting Tau Ceti and one is potentially habitable. Most stars are burning very faint and cool. Tau Ceti is an extremely bright G-Type yellow sequence star, like the sun. These traits are found in less than 5% of stars and that’s what makes this discovery interesting. This particular system is referred to as the “Goldilocks zone”, the orbital region that is neither too hot nor too cool to allow liquid surface water and possibly life.
Dr James Jenkins, said “Planetary systems found around nearby stars close to our sun indicate that these systems are common in our Milky Way galaxy.”
Astronomer Mikko Tuomi with the University of Hertfordshire analyzed some 6000 plus observations of Tau Ceti from sets of telescopes in Chile, Australia, and Hawaii. Their research shows that the 5 planets are at least double the Earths size and some as large as seven times Earth. If these calculations prove to be correct, then all 5 would be closer to Tau Ceti than Mars is to the Sun, but with it only producing 45% as much light versus the sun, they would receive much less heat.
The 4th planet looks like the main point of focus for possible life. It would complete one lap around Tau Ceti every 168 making a shorter year than we currently see on Earth.
“It is impossible to tell the composition, but I do not consider this particular planet to be very likely to have a rocky surface. It might be a water world, but at the moment it’s anybody’s guess.” – Lead author Mikko Tuomi, of the University of Hertfordshire.
The discovery is a major break through, but many years of study and observation are still to come. Chris Tinney, an astronomer at the University of New South Wales spoke about the issue. “It’s certainly very tantalizing evidence for potentially a very exciting planetary system,” Tinney says, verifying this discover can take upwards of 10 years. “We felt that the best thing to do was to put the result out there and see if somebody can either independently confirm it or shoot it down.” Tinney also said, “As we stare at the night sky, it is worth contemplating that there may well be more planets out there than there are stars, some fraction of which may well be habitable.”
Don’t pack your bags yet, but sustaining life on another planet took a step in the right direction.
Earth-like Planet Found
11,905 light years from earth, there is a star called Tau Ceti. There is big chances for the existence of planets around it. And maybe, far in the future, there would maybe be a colony on it.