Tau Ceti Facts
Tau Ceti is orbited by planets, making it the second closest planetary system to Earth.
- Tau Ceti is only 12 light years from Earth in the constellation of Cetus.
- In the night sky Tau Ceti is visible to the naked eye.
- Like our sun Tau Ceti is a G-type main sequence star.
- The classification G refers to the surface temperature of a star, G-type stars have similar surface temperatures to the sun.
- Main sequence stars are fusing hydrogen in their cores which creates enormous amounts of energy.
- G-type main sequence stars are more commonly known as yellow dwarfs.
- Tua Ceti is the closest G-type single star system to the sun.
- In December 2012 it was announced that five planets had been detected orbiting around Tau Ceti.
- One of the detected planets orbits in the habitable zone around the star, an area where temperatures would allow the presence of liquid water on a planet's surface.
- Tau Ceti is surrounded by a large debris disk, meaning any orbiting planets may be under regular bombardements from asteroids.
An artist's impression of the surface of a planet in the Tau Ceti system.
Tau Ceti RadiusLike our sun Tau Ceti is a yellow dwarf, with a radius of around 340,000 miles (550,000 km), which is approximately 20% smaller than the sun.
Tau Ceti MassTau Ceti has a mass of around 78% that of the sun.
Tau Ceti TemperatureLike our sun Tau Ceti is a G-type star, meaning it has similar surface temperatures, Tau Ceti has surface temperatures of around 5,100C (9,200F), slightly cooler compared to the sun.
Tau Ceti Luminosity (energy emitted)Due to Tau Ceti's lower mass, size and surface temperatures, it is only around half as luminous as the sun.
Tau Ceti StatisticsAlso Known As: Durre Menthor
Distance From Earth: 12 light years
Star Type: G-type main sequence
Mass: 78% of sun
Luminosity: 52% of Sun
Diameter: 680,000 miles (1.1 million km) - 79% of Sun
Temperature: Approx 5,100C (9,200F)
Age: Approx 6 billion years old
Rotation Period: 34 days