The Closest Star to Earth
Alpha Centauri is the closest star to earth. It is 4.37 light years away from our planet. It is not a single star. It is a star system that has three stars, Alpha Centauri A, Alpha Centauri B and Proxima Centauri. But in our sky, it is visible as one single star. It is the third brightest star in the earth’s sky. Proxima Centauri, a red dwarf is too faint to be seen even with a small telescope. Alpha Centauri A is the brightest star of the system. It is a yellow star and 25% larger than the Sun. Alpha Centauri B is an orange star but a bit smaller than the Sun.
Fast Facts: –
- It is the closest star to earth but still, it would take any of our current spacecraft more than 50,000 years to reach it.
- Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B revolve around each other once every 80 years.
- This star system is located in the southern part of the sky’s dome so it is not visible beyond 29 degrees north.
- The Alpha Centauri was first discovered by an English explorer, Robert Hues.
- Proxima Centauri is our Sun’s closest neighbor among the stars.
- Alpha Centauri A and B are about 0.2 light-years away from the Sun.
- Proxima Centauri was discovered in 1915 by a Scottish astronomer Robert Innes.
- It is believed that Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B are formed about 4.85 billion years ago. This makes them 250 million years older than the Sun.
- Alpha Centauri B sends solar flares to space.
- Alpha Centauri A has the same spectral classification as our Sun and has many other similar characteristics.