Only 12 light years from Earth, Tau Ceti is the closest single star similar to the Sun and an all-time favorite in sci-fi stories. Habitable worlds orbiting Tau Ceti were destinations of fictional starships like “The Expanse”‘s Nauvoo and “Barbarella”’s vessel. “Star Trek”’s Captain Picard also frequented an exotic bar in the system. Now, thanks to a new approach to analyzing nearby planetary systems, we have a deeper understanding of the actual worlds that orbit Tau Ceti and many other nearby stars.
Exoplanets – worlds around other stars – have long been staples of science fiction but remained mostly inaccessible