Tau Ceti Could Be An Inhabitable Planet Like Earth, Just 12 Light Years Away

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News Posted: Wed, Dec 19 2012 10:03 AM
Hey, good news everyone! After we're done ravaging the natural resources on this rock we call Earth and have turned it into an uninhabitable wasteland, there's another planet the human race can relocate to and nary skip a beat. Unfortunately, that planet is 12 light years away, which puts a small kink into our relocation plans.

The planet in question is one of five rocks orbiting Tau Ceti, a far away star that resembles the Sun, according to Science. It's a single, bright G-type star, so there's no second ball of flames and gas to pull planets away via gravity.

Twilight Zone Planet

All five planets are said to lie closer to Tau Ceti than Mars does to the Sun, though only one is thought to be inhabitable. The three innermost planets, dubbed "b", "c," and "d," are likely too hot to support life, as they sit so close that they're able to complete an orbit in 14, 35, and 94 days, respectively.

Scientists have their eyes on "e," the fourth planet in the cluster and the most likely to sustain life. It's four times as large as Earth. If you lived there, you'd "age" quicker and live longer because your year would only be 168 days long, less than half that of Earth's. That's assuming it's not already inhabited.
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sackyhack replied on Wed, Dec 19 2012 10:28 AM

Send a probe there NOW!! I read somewhere else that the planets are much older than the Earth, so if there is indeed life there, and it developed along timelines similar to that of Earth, it could be that they are much more advanced than us (...or destroyed themselves if Earth is to be used as a model).

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Dorkstar replied on Wed, Dec 19 2012 10:31 AM

lol, i'm all for moving to another planet. Assuming they have a high speed internet...

In all seriousness though, this is a great discover assuming the planet can indeed support life.

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RTietjens replied on Wed, Dec 19 2012 2:32 PM

No, Tau Ceti could NOT be a habitable planet. Tau Ceti is a star. Stars are hot. You might have seen one, it';s called the Sun by most Earthlings.

And poor sackyhack. We launched Voyager 1 about 35 years ago and it is just now leaving the Solar System. Sending anything to Tau Ceti with our current technology would require thousands of years between launch and arrival at destination. It's unlikely our probe would still be working, even if there's anyone on Earth to listen for the return signals (which will take about 12 years to arrive after they are sent from Tau Ceti).

The best evidence of advanced alien life is that it has NOT tried to contact humans.


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