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Which star is closest to Earth?

Which star is closest to Earth?

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from: Tanya Banner

Proxima Centauri is the closest star to Earth. It is about 4,247 light-years from Earth. (artist rendering) © IMAGO / Panthermedia

Among the countless stars in the sky, there is one particularly inconspicuous one that is closest to Earth. Proxima Centauri itself orbits at least three planets.

FRANKFURT – Countless stars twinkle in the sky, but they are all unimaginably far from Earth. You can find out the distance by looking at the star closest to Earth: Proxima Centauri. Also known as V645 Centauri or Alpha Centauri C, the star is located about 4,247 light-years from Earth, making it its closest star.

A light year describes the distance light can travel in a vacuum in one year: 9.46 trillion km. Proxima Centauri lies about 40 trillion kilometers from Earth – too far away to be visited by a spacecraft in the foreseeable future. A spacecraft traveling through space at 61,000 kilometers per hour (about the speed of NASA’s Voyager 1 probe) would need about 75,000 years to travel to Proxima Centauri.

family name: Proxima Centauri (V645 Centauri or Alpha Centauri C)
distance to ground: 4,247 light years away
radius: 107,280 km
Surface temperature: 2768 degrees Celsius
Dimensions: About 0.123 solar masses
He writes: red dwarf
Planets: 3 are known at least

The closest star to Earth: Proxima Centauri is still far away

However, there could be a way to visit stars like Proxima Centauri after all: The “Breakthrough Starshot” project wants to cover the distance to the star Alpha Centauri, which is similar to Proxima Centauri from Earth, using a small spacecraft guided by a laser through everything. being hunted. According to theory, small spaceships should be no larger than a mobile phone and be able to cover the distance in twenty years.

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But back to Proxima Centauri: the closest star to Earth was discovered in 1915. Previously, Alpha Centauri was considered the star closest to Earth. Proxima Centauri is only visible from the Southern Hemisphere, and it’s very dim, making it hard to see. Current research indicates that Proxima Centauri orbits a binary star system made up of the stars Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B – the three that make up a pyramidal triple star system.

At least three planets orbit Proxima Centauri

Also, the closest star to Earth revolves around several planets. The first of these planets, Proxima Centauri b, was discovered in August 2016, and the second (Proxima Centauri c) in June 2020. In February 2022 it became clear: a third planet (Proxima Centauri d) also revolves around the star closest to Earth. (unpaid bill)