Alpha Centauri


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Related to Alpha Centauri: Proxima Centauri, Andromeda galaxy

Alpha Centauri

(ăl`fə sĕntôr`ē), brightest star in the constellation CentaurusCentaurus
, southern constellation located N and E of Crux, the Southern Cross. It is known especially for its bright stars Alpha Centauri and Hadar. It also contains Centaurus A, a radio galaxy, as well as a globular star cluster visible to the naked eye.
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 and 3d-brightest star in the sky; also known as Rigil Kent or Rigil Kentaurus; 1992 position R.A. 14h39.1m, Dec. −60°49'. It is a yellow main-sequence star of the same spectral classspectral class,
in astronomy, a classification of the stars by their spectrum and luminosity. In 1885, E. C. Pickering began the first extensive attempt to classify the stars spectroscopically.
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 (G2 V) as the sun and of about the same size and mass; its apparent magnitudemagnitude,
in astronomy, measure of the brightness of a star or other celestial object. The stars cataloged by Ptolemy (2d cent. A.D.), all visible with the unaided eye, were ranked on a brightness scale such that the brightest stars were of 1st magnitude and the dimmest stars
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 is −0.26. Alpha Centauri is actually a triple-star system, the components being designated A, B, and C. Alpha Centauri C is also called Proxima Centauri because it is the closest star to the earth (other than the sun), at a distance of 4.28 light-years, components A and B are currently 4.34 light-years away. Proxima Centauri orbits about the common center of mass of the system with a period of more than 250,000 years, so that in about 125,000 years it will be more distant than A and B. In 2012 the discovery of a roughly earth-sized planet orbiting Alpha Centauri B was announced; the planet was reported to orbit the star closer than Mercury orbits the sun.

Alpha Centauri

(sen-tor -ÿ, -ee) (Rigil Kentaurus; α Cen) A binary star that is the brightest star in the constellation Centaurus, one of the brightest in the sky, and the second nearest star to the Sun. The two components, A and B, form a yellow-orange visual binary (separation 17″.7, period 80.1 years) and are similar in mass and size to the Sun. Proxima Centauri appears to be physically associated with α Cen; it is the nearest star to the Sun. mv : –0.01 (A), 1.33 (B), –0.27 (AB); Mv : 4.4 (A), 5.7 (B), 4.1 (AB); spectral type: G2 V (A), K1 V (B); mass: 1.09 (A), 0.89 (B) times solar mass; distance: 1.33 pc.

Alpha Centauri

[¦al·fə sen′tȯ·rē]
(astronomy)
A double star, the brightest in the constellation Centaurus; apart from the sun, it is the nearest bright star to earth, about 4.3 light-years away; spectral classification G2. Also known as Rigil Kent.

Alpha Centauri

brightest star in Centaurus constellation; closest star to Earth. [Astronomy: NCE, 74]
References in periodicals archive ?
Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B are similar to our Sun, which is also a star.
It is part of a triple system consisting of a pair of Sun-like stars, Alpha Centauri A and B, and a more distant and faint red companion, Proxima Centauri.
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri shipped to retailers in early February and is the creation of FIRAXIS Games, a Baltimore-based development house established by legendary game designers Sid Meier, Brian Reynolds and Jeff Briggs.
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri features the perfect balance of discovery, exploration, building, and conquest that players have come to expect from a Sid Meier strategy game.
While the newly discovered planet circles Alpha Centauri B, it's part of a system of three stars: Alpha Centauri A, B and the slightly more distant Proxima Centauri.
Days on a planet orbiting Alpha Centauri A or B would follow a weird alien cycle.
If the Sun were the size of a baseball in a catcher's mitt at home plate in Toronto's Skydome, Alpha Centauri would be a baseball-sized sphere at home plate in the Houston Astrodome in Texas.
THIS week's top 10 games are - 1 (-) Metal Gear Solid 2 (1) A Bug's Life 3 (2) Star wars: Rogue Squadron 4 (6) Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri 5 (4) FIFA '99 6 (3) Sim City 3000 7 (5) Grand Theft Auto 8 (7) Premier Manager '99 9 (10) Zelda: Ocarina Of Time 10 (9) Tomb Raider
Anderson's real story is about the few obsessive folks who cross the gulf of stars to found a new society on a planet orbiting Alpha Centauri.
The closest star system consists of Alpha Centauri, found to be a neighbor of the Sun in 1839 at 4.
The planet (artist's depiction shown) circles a sunlike star in the Alpha Centauri system--the nearest stellar system to Earth and a favored target for future interstellar expeditions.
An Earth-size planet was discovered on Alpha Centauri earlier this year, Space.