Astronomers have spotted a planet orbiting around one of our closest neighboring stars that is just the right distance away from it that it has the potential to be habitable to life. Tau Ceti is a star so close to us that we on Earth can see it with our naked eye in the constellation of Cetus. It’s 12 light-years away and while that may seem like a far distance, it’s one of stars closest to us.
Five exoplanets have been spotted orbiting around Tau Ceti and one of them happens to be in the star’s habitable zone. Though, this discovery does not make it the closest star with planets. Alpha Centauri Bb holds the closest exoplanet at a mere 4.3 light-years away, but the planet is too roasting hot to support life.
“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. They are everywhere, even right next door!” said Steve Vogt of the University of California Santa Cruz.
Professor Chris Tinney, an Australian member from the University of New South Wales, 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.”
If it proves to be right, this planet could be worth checking out. It’s only a matter of time before we find a planet that has all the right ingredients to sustain life. The more we look, the more possibilities we see.