Scientists find new earthlike planets, novelist imagines living there

Scientists find new earthlike planets, novelist imagines living there

IT’S a staple of science fiction: A city-size starship leaves our solar system, its passengers propagate on a trip that spans multiple generations and settle a planet several light years from home. Alpa Centauri, the nearest star system, is often featured in these stories. The sci-fi author Kim Stanley Robinson made Tau Ceti, nearly three times as far away, the destination for a generation ship in his 2015 novel, Aurora, because he thought the system was more likely to have a habitable environment.

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