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Our nearest star other than the sun??


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I've heard it expressed both ways but I think it's the same answer. Proxima is thought to orbit Alpha, so you might say that the Alpha "system" is the nearest "system" to ours, with Proxima being the nearest actual star. Presumably that would change periodically as the rotation continues.

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Proxima centauri is normally thought of to be nearer, probably part of the same system... of course Alpha centauri is 2 stars anyway ;) and Proxima centauri is often called Alpha centauri C :)

Is it true that Proxima centauri is often called Alpha centauri? an't they different stars?:confused:

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Well, the star traditionally known as Alpha Centauri is actually two stars closely orbiting one another, Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B. Proxima Centauri is generally considered part of this same system, although it's much farther away than the other two. Hence it would be called "Alpha Centauri C" and just be part of the same trinary "star," Alpha Centauri. Proxima is currently the closest of the three, but since they all orbit one another, this changes periodically.

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Yep, agree with the others. Alpha Centauri is a closely-orbiting binary system, with a third star (proxima) which is thought to also be gravitaitonally bound to the same system (hence, trinary overall).

 

And either way, proxima is closest.

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Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B orbit each other, with Alpha Centauri C (also known as Proxima Centauri) orbiting those two.

 

Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B circle around each other in 79.91 years. The orbit length of Proxima Centauri is not known, I think, because according to wikipedia (where I got all this from) it's not even 100% certain that it is in a stable orbit around the first two stars.

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_Centauri

 

A comment: I try not to be rude, but I link so often to wikipedia where one can find all the answers in simple language, that I don't understand why people ask these questions. How do they find their way to this forum, when the answer is almost pushed in their face by our omnipresent search-company Google?

 

In 3 steps:

1. Open your browser

2. Go to Google, Type "Alpha Centauri" or "Proxima Centauri"

3. Click first hit and read

 

It's almost always hit #1 in Google... that goes for this one, but also for a lot of other questions. Now, once again, nothing wrong with posting. Not all info is on Google/wikipedia and you're silly if you accept those as your only source, but it's a good start. And in fact, the questions make me search for it, and learn something too (15 min ago I didn't know anything of what I just posted)... so let that encourage you :D

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The Sun is about 93 million miles from the earth. The star nearest to the Sun is Proxima Centauri. Proxima Centauri is 4.3 light-years from the Sun. It is a dim red star in the constellation of Centaurus that lies at a distance of over 40 million million kilometers, some 270,000 times greater than the distance between the earth and the sun.

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The Sun is about 93 million miles from the earth. The star nearest to the Sun is Proxima Centauri. Proxima Centauri is 4.3 light-years from the Sun. It is a dim red star in the constellation of Centaurus that lies at a distance of over 40 million million kilometers, some 270,000 times greater than the distance between the earth and the sun.
When you copy/paste an answer directly from another source, please cite the source so we don't think you're trying to plagiarize another writer's work.

 

http://hypertextbook.com/facts/KathrynTam.shtml

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