Double star system Alpha Centauri

Double star system Alpha Centauri

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This image is part of the feature Designing A Starship

Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Alpha Centauri. False-colour optical photograph of the Alpha Centauri star system, the third brightest star in the sky. The pair of stars are Alpha Centauri A at upper left and Alpha Centauri B at lower right. Together with a faint companion known as Proxima Centauri, they form the nearest known star system to our own, at a distance of only 4.3 light years. Alpha Centauri A & B are about 20 arc seconds apart & orbit each other once every 80 years. The faint companion, Proxima Centauri, is the closest of the three to us. It is located over two degrees away from Alpha Centauri (out of the frame of this photo) & orbits the pair with a period of millions of years.

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Keywords: alpha centauri, astronomy, binary, binary star, closest to earth, cosmology, double, double star, proxima centauri, science, star, stellar

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