The nearest single Sun-like star to the Earth might hosts five planets – one of which is in the “habitable zone” where liquid water can exist. 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. The star now joins Alpha Centauri as a nearby star known to host planets.
The cool part about this story is that tau ceti is a naked eye star, in the constellation of cetis, near Pisces in the sky.
Go out and have a look. Someone on one of those planets looking at you would see you in constellation Bootes. At only 12 light years it about as close a neighbor as we could get.