The Sun, a yellow dwarf star, has 8 planets, about 5 dwarf planets, tens of thousands of asteroids, etc., orbiting around it. Apart from this star, there are billions of stars in this universe, and we will know about one such star today, which is closest to the earth besides the sun.
Let’s start with a fact, earlier it was said that the Earth is the center of our universe. But then in the 16th century, the astronomer Nikolaus Copernicus proposed that the sun was stationary in the center of the universe and planet earth revolve around it.
Quick Answer:- The closest star to Earth besides the Sun is Proxima Centauri (Alpha Centauri C) which is a member of the Alpha Centauri star system. The Alpha Centauri star system consists of the three stars which are Alpha Centauri C (Proxima Centauri), Alpha Centauri A (Rigil Kentaurus), Alpha Centauri B (Toliman).
? Proxima Centauri
Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf star that is located in the southern Constellation Centaurus from the sun. A constellation is a group of stars in the sky that seem from earth to form a pattern and are given names.
The Centaurus constellation is one of the largest constellations and is located in the southern sky. The word Centaurus is derived from centaur, which in ancient Greek tales defined a creature that had the upper body of a human and the lower body of a horse. In other words, the half man and half horse.
? Proxima Centauri’s Distance Facts
Proxima Centauri is about 40,208,000,000,000 Km away from us. In Astronomical Units, this star is about 268,770 AU away from us.
Well, especially when it comes to such long distances (“distance between two stars”), instead of using kilometers or astronomical units, we commonly use the term light Year.
Light year is the distance that light travels in one year. Light travels in interstellar space at about 186,000 miles or 300,000 km per second. But the light in a vacuum travels at exactly 299,792,458 meters per second.
? Alpha Centauri’s Stars Distance Information
Alpha Centauri is a triple-star system. Below are the names of three stars and their roughly distance from the earth.
- Alpha Centauri A (Rigil Kentaurus) – 4.35 light years
- Alpha Centauri B (Toliman) – 4.35 light years
- Alpha Centauri C (Proxima Centauri) – 4.25 light years
? Proxima Centauri Facts
As I mentioned earlier, of these three stars, Proxima Centauri is the closest to Earth other than the Sun. The other two stars, Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B form a close binary system. They both are separated by only 23 times the distance of Earth and the Sun.
Alpha Centauri is also considered as the third brightest star in our night sky. But you observe only one when you see it through your naked eyes in the dark. Then when you look through the telescope, you will see different stars in it.
Well, you can not see the star Proxima Centauri from the naked eye, because its average luminosity is very low, and quite small compared to other stars, according to NASA.
Best Astronomy Books of all Time
Hey, If you have curiosity about astronomy and finding some best and tremendous books on astronomy of all time, you may pick one from below.
1. National Geographic Backyard Guide to the Night Sky
- Author:- Andrew Fazekas, Howard Schneider
Number one bestseller book on amazon. This book will help you to explore or navigate the star-studded cosmos with charts, graphics, photographs, and expert tips for viewing and understanding the wonders of space.
2. NightWatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe
- Author:- Terence Dickinson
Another top selling book that you much have, at least once. The first three editions of NightWatch sold more than 600,000 copies.
This book includes star charts for use in the southern hemisphere. Also, there are also dozens of new photographs here that show the latest thrilling discoveries made by current space observatories and probes.
If you are new in the field of astronomy and have a strong curiosity about planets, stargazing in the sky, then this book will be perfect for you.
3. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
- Author:- Neil deGrasse Tyson
If you know Neil deGrasse Tyson, you must have seen his Cosmos web series. The Best web series ever. He has written many amazing books and this is one of them.
This book will help you to address some basic questions about the universe, space, and time. Like, what is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? etc.
That’s all Here. I hope you liked this article about the closest star to Earth besides the sun. If you have any questions please let me know in the comment section.
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