Alpha, Beta and Proxima Centauri

Alpha, Beta and Proxima Centauri

α Centauri and β Centauri, with Proxima circled. Proxima Centauri is the third component of the Alpha Centauri binary star system (α Cen), the closest star system to the Solar System at a distance of 4.37 light-years. It consists of three stars: the pair Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B and a small and faint red dwarf, Proxima Centauri, that may be gravitationally bound to the other two. To the unaided eye, the two main components appear as a single object of an apparent visual magnitude of −0.27, forming the brightest star in the southern constellation Centaurus and the third-brightest star in the night sky, outshone only by Sirius and Canopus. Photo: wikipedia

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