Alpha and Proxima Centauri

Field centered on R.A. R.A. 14h 20' & Dec. -61 50'


The closest star system to the Sun is the Alpha Centauri system. Of the three stars in the system, the dimmest - called Proxima Centauri - is actually the nearest star.

The bright stars Alpha Centauri A and B form a close binary as they are separated by only 23 times the Earth- Sun distance - slightly greater than the distance between Uranus and the Sun. Alpha Centauri A, also known as Rigil Kentaurus, is the brightest star in the constellation of Centaurus and is the fourth brightest star in the night sky.

Light takes only 4.22 years to reach us from Proxima Centauri. This small red star, circled in the large above image, is so faint that it was only discovered in 1915 and is only visible through a telescope. Stars of all types from our Milky Way Galaxy are visible in the background. The Alpha Centauri system is primarily visible from Earth's Southern Hemisphere.

(Text adapted from APOD).

This animation was made with two frames, the first one being simply an enlargement of the image above, taken in 2007, while the second one obtained morphing the same image on the relative position of Proxima as recorded in this shot, taken from Namibia 4 years earlier.


Apo Pentax SDHF75 (75/f6.7) + Vixen Sphinx SXD SBIG STL11K, binning 1x1, T=-20°C RGB (15m each) Optec LRGB filter set

Maleene station, Mt. Magnet, W.Australia





All of the photographs and text on these pages are copyrighted by Marco Lorenzi. They may not be reproduced, published, copied or transmitted in any form, including electronically on the Internet or World Wide Web, without written permission of the author.