Future orbital path of Proxima Centauri

Future orbital path of Proxima Centauri

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Credit: P. Kervella (CNRS/U. of Chile/Observatoire de Paris/LESIA)/Digitized Sky Survey 2, D. De Martin/M. Zamani/EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Future orbital path of Proxima Centauri. Orbital plot of the star Proxima Centauri (yellow line), showing its position with respect to the star Alpha Centauri (upper left) over the coming millennia (the labels show time in thousands of years). The large number of background stars is due to the fact that Proxima Centauri is located very close to the plane of the Milky Way. Proxima Centauri, which is around 4.2 light-years from Earth in the constellation Centaurus, is the closest star to our own solar system. It orbits a binary star system that consists of Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B. Image published in 2016.

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