Originally posted on National Post | News:

J. Pinfield for the RoPACS network at the University of Hertfordshire, 2012

J. Pinfield for the RoPACS network at the University of Hertfordshire, 2012

Scientists have potentially discovered five new planets orbiting Tau Ceti, one of our solar system’s nearest neighbours, including one that could be in the star’s “habitable zone.”

“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,” said Steve Vogt, one of the scientists behind the study, in a statement.

Of the five discovered planets, the one in the “habitable zone” has a minimum mass of about 4.4 times that of Earth (it is impossible to know what gravity would be like on the planet without also knowing its density). Planets in the “habitable zone” are ones that have the possibility of forming liquid water. In fact, the planet might be nothing but water.

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“It is impossible to tell…

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