These planets have masses as low as 1.7 Earth mass, making them among the smallest planets ever detected around the nearest Sun-like stars. Two of them are Super-Earths located in the habitable zone of the star and thus could support liquid surface water.
Measuring Tau Ceti’s wobbles required techniques sensitive enough to detect variations in its movement as small as 30 centimeters per second. The smaller the planet, the weaker its gravitational pull on its host star, and the harder it is to detect the star’s wobble.
- Fabo Feng, Mikko Tuomi, Hugh Jones - University of Hertfordshire, UK
- John Barnes - The Open University, UK
- Guillem Anglada-Escude - Queen Mary University ofLondon, UK
- Steve Vogt - University of California at Santa Cruz, USA
- Paul Butler - Carnegie Institute of Washington, USA
About W. M. Keck Observatory
Mari-Ela Chock, Communications Officer
W. M. Keck Observatory