Earth’s nearest solar neighborhood has a habitable planet
"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,"
- study co-author Steve Vogt, of the University of California
The nearest single Sun-like star to the Earth hosts five planets - one of which is in the "habitable zone" where liquid water can exist, astronomers say.
Tau Ceti's planetary quintet - reported in an online paper that will appear in Astronomy and Astrophysics - was found in existing planet-hunting data.
The study's refined methods of sifting through data should help find even more far-flung worlds.