Proxima Centauri

Alpha Proximaits host starProximaProxima CenProxima SystemProximanProximans
Proxima Centauri, or Alpha Centauri C, is a red dwarf, a small low-mass star, about 4.244 ly from the Sun in the constellation of Centaurus.wikipedia
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Alpha Centauri

α CentauriAlphaα Centauri A
Proxima Centauri forms a third component of the Alpha Centauri system, currently with a separation of about 12950 AU and an orbital period of 550,000 years. In 1915, the Scottish astronomer Robert Innes, Director of the Union Observatory in Johannesburg, South Africa, discovered a star that had the same proper motion as Alpha Centauri.
It is a triple star system, consisting of three stars: α Centauri A (officially Rigil Kentaurus ), α Centauri B (officially Toliman ), and α Centauri C (officially Proxima Centauri ).

Robert T. A. Innes

Robert InnesRobert Thorburn Ayton InnesDr Robert T A Innes
It was discovered in 1915 by Robert Innes and is the nearest-known star to the Sun. In 1915, the Scottish astronomer Robert Innes, Director of the Union Observatory in Johannesburg, South Africa, discovered a star that had the same proper motion as Alpha Centauri.
Robert Thorburn Ayton Innes FRSE FRAS (10 November 1861 – 13 March 1933) was a Scottish astronomer best known for discovering Proxima Centauri in 1915, and numerous binary stars.

Red dwarf

redred dwarf starsred dwarfs
Proxima Centauri, or Alpha Centauri C, is a red dwarf, a small low-mass star, about 4.244 ly from the Sun in the constellation of Centaurus.
Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to the Sun, is a red dwarf (Type M5, apparent magnitude 11.05), as are fifty of the sixty nearest stars.

Proxima Centauri b

Proxima bbplanet
In 2016, the European Southern Observatory announced the discovery of Proxima Centauri b, a planet orbiting the star at a distance of roughly 0.05 AU with an orbital period of approximately 11.2 Earth days.
Proxima Centauri b (also called Proxima b or Alpha Centauri Cb) is an exoplanet orbiting in the habitable zone of the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri, which is the closest star to the Sun and part of a triple star system.

Union Observatory

Johannesburg Obs.JohannesburgJohannesburg Observatory
In 1915, the Scottish astronomer Robert Innes, Director of the Union Observatory in Johannesburg, South Africa, discovered a star that had the same proper motion as Alpha Centauri.
The observatory and its former annex, the, are known for the discovery of 6,000 double stars and for Proxima Centauri, made by astronomer Robert Innes.

List of nearest stars and brown dwarfs

passing starsnearest starsclosest stars
It was discovered in 1915 by Robert Innes and is the nearest-known star to the Sun.

Habitability of red dwarf systems

development of life theremight have habitable zonesred dwarf stars
The equilibrium temperature of Proxima b is estimated to be within the range of where water could exist as liquid on its surface, thus placing it within the habitable zone of Proxima Centauri, although because Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf and a flare star, whether it could support life is disputed.
Given their low energy output, red dwarfs are never visible by the unaided eye from Earth; neither the closest red dwarf to the Sun when viewed individually, Proxima Centauri (which is also the closest star to the Sun), nor the closest solitary red dwarf, Barnard's star, is anywhere near visual magnitude.

Sun

solarSolThe Sun
Proxima Centauri, or Alpha Centauri C, is a red dwarf, a small low-mass star, about 4.244 ly from the Sun in the constellation of Centaurus.
Of the 50 nearest stellar systems within 17 light-years from Earth (the closest being the red dwarf Proxima Centauri at approximately 4.2 light-years), the Sun ranks fourth in mass.

Parallax

trigonometric parallaxsolar parallaxmotion parallax
He suggested that it be named Proxima Centauri (actually Proxima Centaurus). In 1917, at the Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope, the Dutch astronomer Joan Voûte measured the star's trigonometric parallax at 0.755 ″ and determined that Proxima Centauri was approximately the same distance from the Sun as Alpha Centauri.
The nearest star to the Sun (and thus the star with the largest parallax), Proxima Centauri, has a parallax of 0.7687 ± 0.0003 arcsec.

Flare star

flare starsflare eventsflares
Although it has a very low average luminosity, Proxima is a flare star that undergoes random dramatic increases in brightness because of magnetic activity.
The Sun's nearest stellar neighbor Proxima Centauri is a flare star that undergoes occasional increases in brightness because of magnetic activity.

Angular diameter

apparent diameterangular sizeapparent size
Because of Proxima Centauri's proximity to Earth, its angular diameter can be measured directly. In 2002, optical interferometry with the Very Large Telescope (VLTI) found that the angular diameter of Proxima Centauri was 1.02 mas.

European Southern Observatory

ESOEuropean Southern Observatory (ESO)ESO Countries
In 2016, the European Southern Observatory announced the discovery of Proxima Centauri b, a planet orbiting the star at a distance of roughly 0.05 AU with an orbital period of approximately 11.2 Earth days.
In August 2016, the European Southern Observatory announced the detection of a planet orbiting the third star in the Alpha Centauri system, Proxima Centauri.

Joan Voûte

J. VoûteJoan George Erardus Gijsbertus Voûte
He suggested that it be named Proxima Centauri (actually Proxima Centaurus). In 1917, at the Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope, the Dutch astronomer Joan Voûte measured the star's trigonometric parallax at 0.755 ″ and determined that Proxima Centauri was approximately the same distance from the Sun as Alpha Centauri.
His preliminary account of the parallax of Proxima Centauri was published in 1917, demonstrating that Proxima was the same distance from the Sun as the Alpha Centauri system.

Orbital period

periodsynodic periodsynodic
Proxima Centauri forms a third component of the Alpha Centauri system, currently with a separation of about 12950 AU and an orbital period of 550,000 years.

Very Large Telescope

VLTNACOVLTI
In 2002, optical interferometry with the Very Large Telescope (VLTI) found that the angular diameter of Proxima Centauri was 1.02 mas.
In the year 2001, during commissioning, the VLTI successfully measured the angular diameters of four red dwarfs including Proxima Centauri.

Exoplanet

extrasolar planetexoplanetsplanet
The first indications of the exoplanet were found in 2013 by Mikko Tuomi of the University of Hertfordshire from archival observation data.
The nearest exoplanet is Proxima Centauri b, located 4.2 light-years (1.3 parsecs) from Earth and orbiting Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun.

Apparent magnitude

apparent visual magnitudemagnitudevisual magnitude
With a quiescent apparent magnitude of 11.13, it is too faint to be seen with the naked eye.

Binary star

spectroscopic binaryeclipsing binarybinary
Ever since the discovery of Proxima, it has been suspected to be a true companion of the Alpha Centauri binary star system.
Orbital periods can be less than an hour (for AM CVn stars), or a few days (components of Beta Lyrae), but also hundreds of thousands of years (Proxima Centauri around Alpha Centauri AB).

Interstellar travel

interstellarspace travelinterstellar ships
Because of the star's proximity to Earth, Proxima Centauri has been proposed as a flyby destination for interstellar travel.
The closest known star, Proxima Centauri, is approximately 4.243 ly away, or over 9,000 times farther away than Neptune.

Breakthrough Starshot

StarChipBreakthrough Starshot initiativeSprites
Project Breakthrough Starshot aims to reach the Alpha Centauri system within the first half of the 21st century, with microprobes travelling at twenty percent of the speed of light propelled by around 100 gigawatts of Earth-based lasers.
A flyby mission has been proposed to Proxima Centauri b, an Earth-sized exoplanet in the habitable zone of its host star, Proxima Centauri, in the Alpha Centauri system.

Tidal locking

tidally lockedsynchronoussynchronous rotation
A planet orbiting within this zone may experience tidal locking to the star.
Proxima Centauri b, the "Earth-like planet" discovered in 2016 that orbits around the star Proxima Centauri is tidally locked, either in synchronized rotation, or otherwise expresses a 3:2 spin–orbit resonance like that of Mercury.

Stars and planetary systems in fiction

47 Ursae Majoris in fictionArcturus61 Cygni
Proxima Centauri in fiction
A massive space "graveyard" of derelict spacefaring vessels (including ships of Earth and Proximan origin) was discovered in orbit of a planet in the Beta Pavonis system, which was the source of jury-rigged spaceships illegally sold to the Terran miners of Alpha Indi II, by a group of scavengers called "Jackers".

Mikko Tuomi

The first indications of the exoplanet were found in 2013 by Mikko Tuomi of the University of Hertfordshire from archival observation data.
Mikko Tuomi helped discover the Proxima Centauri b planet by observing the gravitational tug of Proxima Centauri's star, Proxima Centauri.

Voyager 1

Voyager1the first spacecraft to leave the Solar System
For example, Voyager 1, which is now travelling 17 km/s relative to the Sun, would reach Proxima in 73,775 years, were the spacecraft travelling in the direction of that star.
To compare, Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun, is about 4.2 light-years (2.65 AU) distant.

Star, Russia

starstellarstars
Proxima Centauri, or Alpha Centauri C, is a red dwarf, a small low-mass star, about 4.244 ly from the Sun in the constellation of Centaurus.