Tau Ceti in the constellation of Cetus. Image credit: Stellarium software

Another Earth-like planet has been discovered and it is just around the corner. The planet was discovered recently and unlike most planets, this discovery was made in a star-system very similar to our own, with a star similar to our sun.

Artist’s concept of the Tau Ceti system. Image credit: J. Pinfield at the University of Hertfordshire

The planet orbits the star Tau Ceti and this is actually the nearest single star system we know that is possible to see with the naked eye, without using a telescope, but just looking at the sky at night.

This Earth-like planet orbits Taus Ceti within the so-called Goldilocks Zone, the term describing the region around a star within which it is theoretically possible for a planet with sufficient atmospheric pressure to maintain liquid water on its surface.

The planet appears to be neither too cold nor too hot for life as we know it to exist. Also, it is not too big, with a gravity similar to Earth. This planet may actually be just like the Earth, and habitable.

The entire solar system is the smallest solar system yet discovered in terms of total mass and is found only 12 light years away. In space standards just around the corner.

Tau Ceti: Sun-like star only twelve light years away may have a habitable planet