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47.8 MB (721.2 KB compressed)
4941 x 3383 pixels
41.9 x 28.7 cm ⏐ 16.5 x 11.3 in (300dpi)
JOHN SANFORD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN SANFORD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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. 50mm, f/2, 20 sec exposure, Fujichrome 1600 + 2, photographed from Pauhatanui, New Zealand.
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