Guardians of the Stars
Tau Ceti or Durre Menthor is a star in the constellation Cetus that is spectrally similar to the Sun, although it has only about 78% of the Sun’s mass. At a distance of just under 12 light-years from the Solar System, it is a relatively nearby star, and is the closest solitary G-class star. The star appears stable, with little stellar variation.
Tau Ceti is metal-deficient, a deficiency usually associated with systems having no giant planets and few terrestrial planets. Observations have however detected more than ten times as much dust surrounding Tau Ceti as is present in the Solar System.
It can be seen with the unaided eye as a third-magnitude star. As seen from Tau Ceti, the Sun would be a third-magnitude star in the constellation Boötes.
Five planets orbit Tau Ceti, with one in the habitable zone. Because of its debris disk, planets orbiting Tau Ceti face far more impact events than the Earth. Despite this hurdle to habitability, its solar analog (Sun-like) characteristics have led to widespread interest in the star. Its stability, similarity and relative proximity to the Sun made Tau Ceti a priority for an interstellar visit.