Optical photo of Alpha & Beta Centauri

Optical photo of Alpha & Beta Centauri

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This image is part of the feature Designing A Starship


Caption: The two bright stars just below centre are Alpha Centauri (left) & Beta Centauri. To their right are the four stars forming the constellation of the Southern Cross, or Crux Australis. Alpha Centauri, also known as Rigil Kent, is a triple star system, the two brightest components of which form a yellow-orange visual binary. The third component, Proxima Centauri, is the closest star to Earth at a distance of 4.3 light years. Beta Centauri, or Hadar, is also a binary star; it is much more remote at a distance of 424 light years. The photograph was taken from Pauhatanui, New Zealand. (North is at top). 50mm, f/2, 20 sec exposure, Fujichrome 1600 + 2, photographed from Pauhatanui, New Zealand.

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Keywords: alpha centauri, astronomy, beta centauri, constellation, cosmology, crux australis, hadar, rigel kent, science, southern cross, star, stellar

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