Tau Ceti has long been a favorite of science fiction writers. One of the closest and most similar stars to our own, planets orbiting Tau Ceti have shown up in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan and The Next Generation. The system was the setting for '60s camp classic Barbarella (Bar-bar-barella), and over the decades a score of movies, TV shows, comics, and games have been set there. The star itself was the subject of 1960's Project Ozma, one of the first searches for exterrestrial life. Alas, not only did scientists not find any exterrestrial life around Tau Ceti, they didn't even find any planets. Until now.
Astronomers have discovered five new planets orbiting the nearby star Tau Ceti, and there's even better news -- one of them could potentially support life one day. While there are a couple things to be excited for, that's a big "potentially." What's more, it's not as if "nearby" is not exactly down the block in absolute terms. At just 12 million miles away, though, it's just a stone's throw away, as far as the cosmos are concerned. Considering that we're running out of ways to doom this planet, it's never too early to start looking for a new one to ruin a little farther down the line.