Tau Ceti (a.k.a. Durre Menthor) (11.9 light-years away)

Tau Ceti is another promising candidate for complex or intelligent life among the nearby stars besides Alpha Centauri.  Tau Ceti is a G8 main sequence yellow dwarf that is a little smaller and less luminous than our Sun.  The small blue diamond marker shows where Tau Ceti is in the cloud of comets and asteroids surrounding it as illustrated in this infrared image.


Tau Ceti was the very first star searched by SETI for signals from an intelligent civilization.  And recently in December 2012, astronomers have discovered five planetary candidates orbiting Tau Ceti, two of which orbit in the star's habitable zone.


To the left is an actual image of the Tau Ceti star system taken in infrared.

I scale comparison of our Sun (left) to Tau Ceti (right)
A map of the orbits of the five planets orbiting Tau Ceti with the habitable zone rerpresented in cyan or light blue.
A scale comparison of Earth to Tau Ceti E and F