Do you know that the sun is the star closest to us? And what star comes after her?
We are used to seeing the Sun as a star around which our Earth revolves, and we do not always think that this star is also a star. Moreover, the closest to us. But let's digress from the sun and look at other celestial bodies. Which of them is still close to us?
The closest star to Earth
Closest to Earth after the Sun is Proxima Centauri. We learned about this a little over a hundred years ago - the British astronomers discovered it only in 1915. It used to be believed that its "relative" is located closest to the Earth - Alpha Centauri. In fact, this is a double star, which is a red dwarf.Dimensions
- Small in size, with a low temperature, red dwarfs contract over time, while heating, which leads to their transformation - they become white dwarfs. The same fate, according to astronomers, awaits the nearest neighbor, flashing up from time to time.
- These flashes were discovered by American scientists as a result of an increase in the brightness of Proxima Centauri, which usually has a dim glow, invisible without a telescope. The apparent magnitude is 11.05m, and the absolute is 15.49m.
Residents of the northern hemisphere of the Earth cannot admire this star even with a telescope. She is in the distance 4.2 light years from us and inferior to the Sun in size and mass seven times. Earthlings will need order to reach Proxima Centauri 18 thousand years
- Being a double of Alpha Centauri, Proxima rotates around it, the rotation frequency is about 500 thousand years. Proxima Centauri itself does not have satellites around it, the radiation of energy is minimal.
- The star’s orbit rotates from time to time with the Milky Way.
- Scientists are still arguing that Proxima Centauri is part of the Alpha Centauri system. The main argument in favor of this possibility is that all these stars have the same motion vectors.
More recently, in 2016, a planet similar in its characteristics to the Earth was discovered next to our closest neighbor European astronomers. She was named Proxima Centauri b. This, of course, does not automatically mean that it is inhabited, because periodic flashes on the Proxima Centauri entail an increase in the level of all kinds of radiation.
Today, Proxima Centauri is the closest star to us and the Sun. She became such more than 32 thousand years ago. But the stars are moving, a little more than 30 thousand years will pass, and it will come closer to us Andromeda constellation, and the nearest neighbor will be the star entering into it, which is called Ross 248.