(BIVN) – Astronomers have confirmed that four Earth-sized planets are orbiting Tau Ceti, our nearest Sun-like star, which is only 12 light years away from our home planet.
The W. M. Keck Observatory shared the news on August 9, which was the result of data gathered by their observatory on Mauna Kea, as well as the European Southern Observatory in Chile.
These planets have masses as low as 1.7 Earth mass, scientists say, making them among the smallest planets ever detected around the nearest Sun-like stars.
Two of them are Super-Earths located in the habitable zone of the star. These worlds could support liquid surface water, scientists believe.
Scientists added that if the two outer planets are found to be habitable, Tau Ceti could be an optimal target for interstellar colonization, as seen in science fiction.
However, it is noted that a massive debris disc around the star probably reduces their habitability due to intensive bombardment by asteroids and comets.