Scientists find five new planets close to Earth

There may be another Earth just 12 light years away

A year later the Kepler spacecraft found one in the habitable zone of the Kepler 22 system, and it was named Kepler-22b. That system is 600 light years away from Earth, but it is now thought there’s another habitable planet orbiting a single star that’s much closer to us. Scientists using an intra-galactic speed gun have detected five new planets, relatively close to Earth, and one of them is orbiting a star’s habitable zone, where conditions are suitable for life.

Tau Ceti is a single star around 12 light years away from Earth, and the closest most Sun-like star (G-type) we have discovered outside our solar system. It’s also thought to have 5 planets in orbit, the fourth of which is around 4x as large as Earth and sits in the habitable zone, potentially making it an Earth-like planet.

new planetThe planet in the habitable zone has a mass about five times that of Earth, making it the smallest known planet orbiting in the “Goldilocks” zone – where conditions are just right – of any Sun-like star. Tinney said scientists believe smaller, rocky planets have the best chance of hosting life.