Fear not, Earthlings! When the end of the world comes (not from the Mayan apocalypse, but from burning all of the coal), we can launch off this rock of ours, stripped of all its resources and heated up beyond all recognition, and at least have some idea what direction we should head in. Because scientists have just found a planet that’s probably habitable.
It’s not even in a galaxy, far, far, away. It’s orbiting Tau Ceti, a star that’s a mere 12 light years from us. You can actually see Tau Ceti with your naked eye. To see the planet you have to squint really, really hard, and use “a highly sensitive technique that combined data from more than 6,000 observations from three different telescopes.” That’s how the scientists found it, anyway, according to the Guardian.
And — even better news! — we won’t all have to head to this planet when ours is used up. There are potentially lots and lots of planets like this one, the Guardian reports:
Professor Steve Vogt, another team member, from the University of California at Santa Cruz, said: “This discovery is in keeping with our emerging view that virtually every star has planets, and that the galaxy must have many such potentially habitable Earth-sized planets. They are everywhere, even right next door.”
So if there’s someone you really, really don’t like, just make sure to get on a different space shuttle from them when the time comes.
'Habitable' planet discovered circling Tau Ceti star, The Guardian.