Alpha Centauri

7 June 2014

Alpha Centauri (α Centauri, α Cen; also known as Rigil Kent /ˈraɪdʒəl ˈkɛnt/—see Names) or Toliman is the brightest star in the southern constellation of Centaurus and the third brightest star in the night sky.[10][11] The Alpha Centauri system is located 1.34 parsecs or 4.37 light years from the Sun, making it the closest star system to our Solar System.[5] Although it appears to the unaided eye as a single object, Alpha Centauri is actually a binary star system (designated Alpha Centauri AB or α Cen AB) whose combined visual magnitude of −0.27 makes it the third brightest star (other than the Sun) seen from Earth after the −1.46 magnitude Sirius and the −0.72 magnitude Canopus.