TAU CETI E: ANOTHER INTERSTELLAR TARGET?

Analysis by Ian O’Neill
Sun Dec 23, 2012 08:12 PM ET

Tau Ceti recently crashed into the headlines after it was announced that a system of five worlds may be in orbit around the star. Although the exoplanets have yet to be confirmed, this discovery is profound in that one of the worlds, a “super-Earth” designated Tau Ceti “e” — may be sitting inside the star’s so-called habitable zone.

The habitable zone is considered the perfect location in a star’s orbit for a world to support liquid water (it’s not too hot and not too cold), a substance essential for the evolution of life as we know it.

If this world is proven to exist — follow-up studies by other observatories are required to confirm its orbit and size — the 4.3 Earth-mass world will become famous for being the smallest world discovered within the habitable zone of another star.

Read more: Tau Ceti e: Another Interstellar Target? : Discovery News.

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