Universe Guide

Proxima Centauri - Alpha Centauri C - HIP70890

Proxima Centauri (Alpha Centauri C) is a red main sequence dwarf star that can be located in the constellation of Centaurus. Alpha Centauri C is the Bayer Classification for the star. HIP is the reference name for the star in the Hipparcos Star Catalogue. The Id of the star in the Henry Draper catalogue is HD.

Location of Proxima Centauri

The location of the star in the galaxy is determined by the Right Ascension (R.A.) and Declination (Dec.), these are equivalent to the Longitude and Latitude on the Earth. The Right Ascension is how far expressed in time (hh:mm:ss) the star is from celestial equator. The Declination is how up or down compared to the celestial equator and is expressed in degrees. For Proxima Centauri, the location is 14h 29m 47.75 and -62 d 40`52.9 .

Physical Properties/View of Proxima Centauri

Proxima Centauri has a spectral type of M5Ve. This means the star is (M) red coloured (V) main sequence (dwarf star). Proxima Centauri lies at a distance of 4.22 light years away from our Sun and our planet Earth or to put it another way, 1.23 parsecs away from the Sun.

Proxima Centauri has an apparent magnitude of 11.01 which is how bright we see the star from Earth. Apparent Magnitude is also known as Visual Magnitude. Proxima Centauri has an absolute magnitude of 15.46 which is the apparent magnitude of an object if it were 32.6 light years away or 10 parsecs from Earth. Magnitude, whether it be apparent/visual or absolute magnitude is measured by a number, the smaller the number, the brighter the Star is. Our own Sun is the brightest star and therefore has the lowest of all magnitudes, -26.74. A faint star will have a high number. The stars temperature has been calculated at between 2400 and 3700 based on the Class Type and lookup at Wikipedia-Stellar Classification

The star is a multiple star system, it has at least the following companions in close orbit, Rigil Kentaurus, Alpha Centauri B.

Source of Information

The source of the information came from Simbad, the Hipparcos data library based at the University at Strasbourg, France. Hipparcos was a E.S.A. satellite operation launched in 1989 for four years.

Proxima Centauri Facts


Traditional NameProxima Centauri
Bayer DesignationAlpha Centauri C
Hipparcos Library I.D.70890
ConstellationCentaurus
Celestial TypeStar
Absolute Magnitude15.46
Apparent Magnitude11.01
Right Ascension (R.A.)14h 29m 47.75
Declination (Dec.)-62 d 40`52.9
Distance from the Sun / Earth4.22 Light Years
Spectral TypeM5Ve
Colour (M) red
Star Type (IV) subgiant.
Companion StarsRigil Kentaurus, Alpha Centauri B
Variable Star ClassConstant, non-variable
Calculated Temperature Range2,400.00 - 3,700.00


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