Universe Guide

What is the nearest star in the constellation of Centaurus?

Proxima Centauri (Alpha Centauri C) is the nearest star to our solar system in the constellation of Centaurus. It is located at a distance of about 4.2 light years from our Solar System. It would take a spaceship 1 year per light year distance at the speed of light. A light year is the distance that light travels in a year which is about 5.88 trillion miles.

We currently do not have any spaceship that is capable of travelling that fast. The fastest man made object is the New Horizons probe which would take 54,000 years to reach the nearest star, 4.3 light years away.

As a general rule, the brightest star in the constellation has a Bayer classification of Alpha but it is not the case for the amentioned constellation. The system was devised by Johann Bayer in 1802. When the Greek alphabet is used up, the Latin alphabet is used afterwards.

Proxima Centauri has an apparent magnitude of 11.01. Apparent magnitude is a measure of how bright the object is as seen on Earth. The smaller the number, the brighter the star is. for comparison reasons, the Sun's apparent magnitude is -26.74. The dimmest star that we can see without the help of a pair of binoculars or telescope for the record is 6/6.5

The star is a red main sequence dwarf star star based on the spectral type of the star.

An exoplanet has been discovered in orbit round the planet. Although you will be able to see the star, you will not be able to see the exoplanet as it is too small and too dim without equipment.

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