Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Proxima Centauri

The red dwarf Proxima Centauri (also Alpha Centauri C), part of the Alpha Centauri star system, is the nearest star to Earth, other than Sol. Proxima Centauri is roughly 4.22 light years from Earth (40Tkm), 270,000 times more distant than Sol; it is located in the constellation of Centaurus.

Its apparent magnitude is 11 (very weak, as red dwarfs in general are: far too weak to be observable with the naked eye). Proxima Centauri was discovered in 1915 by Robert Innes (1861-1933) while he was Director of the Republic Observatory in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Proxima Centauri has often been suggested as a logical first destination for interstellar travel.

Proxima Centauri is only about 13,000 astronomical units away from Alpha Centauri and may be in orbit about it, with a period on the order of 500,000 years or more. For this reason, Proxima is sometimes referred to as Alpha Centauri C.
However, it is not clear if it really is in orbit, although the association is unlikely to be entirely accidental as it shares approximately the same motion through space as the larger star system.

See also:

External links