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Alpha Centauri from Paranal


Alpha Centauri is the closest star system to the Solar System, being 4.37 light-years from the Sun. It consists of three stars: the double star Alpha Centauri A (also named Rigil Kentaurus) and Alpha Centauri B together with a small and faint red dwarf, Alpha Centauri C (also named Proxima Centauri), that may be gravitationally bound to the other two. To the unaided eye, the two main components appear as a single point of light with an apparent visual magnitude of −0.27, forming the brightest star in the southern constellation of Centaurus and is the third-brightest star in the night sky, outshone only by Sirius and Canopus.

Credit:
John Colosimo (colosimophotography.com) / ESO

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