Friday, October 2, 2009

Proxima Centauri

Proxima Centauri is the closest known star in the Solar System and is about 10,000 times dimmer than the Sun. It is about 4.3 light years away and is visible with binoculars. It is the faintest member of a triple star system called Alpha Centauri present in the constellation of Centaurus. The other two stars form a brilliant double star when viewed through a small astronomical telescope. They are each about as bright as the Sun and take 80 years to orbit each other. The Proxima Centauri flares up every now and then and appears brighter than normal for just a few minutes. It takes about a million years to orbit the bright stars.

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