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Alpha Centauri

Alpha Centauri is the nearest star system to our Solar System. Alpha Centauri is a system of three stars: Alpha Centauri A, Alpha Centauri B and Proxima Centauri. It is the brightest star system in the southern constellation of Centaurus. It is 4.3 light years from us. It is also called Rigil Kentaurus (Rigil Kent). The name is derived from the Arabic phrase Rijl al Kentaurus, meaning 'foot of the centaur'.

Painting is titled "Proxima's Planet".
Proxima is a hypothetical planet of our closest stellar neighbour Alpha Centauri. 

Alpha Centauri Triple Star

Alpha Centauri is a triple star system consists of:

1.  Alpha Centauri A: It is 4.36 light years from Earth and shines with a yellowish-white light. Alpha Centauri A is the fourth brightest star in the night sky. It is slightly larger and brighter than our Sun and like our Sun its spectral type is G2. Alpha Centauri A is the largest member of the Alpha Centauri  System.

2.  Alpha Centauri B: It is 4.36 light years from Earth and shines with an orangish-yellow-white light. It is slightly smaller and dimmer than our Sun and its spectral type is K1. Alpha Centauri B is the second largest member of the system.

3. Proxima Centauri: It is a red dwarf and is 4.22 years from Earth. It is smaller and dimmer than Alpha Centauri A and B and its spectral type is M5. Promima Centauri is sometimes also referred to as Alpha Centauri C.

Note: Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B form a binary system together.

Did you know?

* In the Lost in Space TV show of the 1960s, the destination of the Jupiter 2 was Alpha Centauri, unfortunately they became lost in space.
* The closest stars to the Alpha Centauri system is the Sun (our Solar System) and Barnard's star (6.5 light years).
* Alpha Centauri is famous in the Southern Hemisphere as the outermost 'pointer' to the Southern Cross, but it is too far south to be visible in most of the northern hemisphere.

See also:

Books on Telescopes:


Painting of Proxima's Planet.
Copyright 2000-2002 David A Hardy. All rights reserved.
This photo  may not be copied for any purpose without David A Hardy's Permission.

Alpha Centauri Links:

Alpha Centauri: A Candidate for Terrestrial Planets And Intelligent Life
Alpha Centauri: The Closest Star System:
Alpha Centauri 3:
eSky: Alpha Centauri

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Copyright 2000-2014 Vic Stathopoulos. All rights reserved.
Updated: Tuesday 1st, April, 2014

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