Astronomers find ‘Earth 2’

The nearest single Sun-like star to the Earth hosts five planets – one of which is in the “habitable zone” where liquid water can exist, astronomers say.

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.

In both those cases, the planets were found not by spying them through a telescope but rather by measuring the subtle effects they have on their host stars’ light.

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