The Physics Factbook™
Edited by Glenn Elert -- Written by his students
An educational, Fair Use website
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|Bibliographic Entry||Result |
|Abell, George. Exploration of the Universe. New York: Holt, 1969: 377.||"All three have a parallax of about 0.76" and a distance of 1/0.76, or about 1.3 pc (4.3 LY)"||4.3 light year|
|"Star." World Book. Chicago: World Book, 1990: vol. 18 842.||"Proxima Centauri is 4.3 light-years from the Sun"||4.3 light year|
|Dixton, Robert T. Dynamic Astronomy. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1971: 216.||"Our nearest star, Proxima Centauri, has a parallax of 0.75", hence a distance of 1/0.75 = 1.33 parsecs, or 4.3 lt-yr"||4.3 light year|
|Moore, Patrick. Guide to the Stars. Guildford, UK: Billing & Sons, 1960: 193.||"The nearest star, Proxima Centauri, is 4.3 light-years away"||4.3 light year|
|Taylor, Stuart Ross. Solar System Evolution. USA: Lunar and Planetary Institute, 1992: 41.||"The nearest star is about 4.3 light years"||4.3 light year|
The Sun is about 93 million miles from the earth. The star nearest tothe Sun is Proxima Centauri. Astronomers measure the distance between stars inunits called light-years. A light-year equals 5.88 million million miles(9.46 million million kilometers). This is the distance light travels inone year at a speed of 186,282 miles per second (299,792 kilometersper second). Proxima Centauri is 4.3 light-years from the Sun. It is a dimred star in the constellation of Centaurus that lies at a distance of over 40 millionmillion kilometers, some 270,000 times greater than the distance between the earthand the sun.
The nearest stellar neighbors to the Sun are three stars that make up a multiplesystem. To the naked eye the system appears as a single bright star, Alpha Centauri.Alpha Centauri is a double star -- two stars revolving about each other that aretoo close to be seen as seperate by the naked eye. Near them is the third memberof the system, a faint star known as Proxima Centauri. Discovered in 1915, itis smaller than Alpha and Beta. Proxima (meaning nearest) it is slightly nearerto the Sun than the other stars in this triple star system.
The distance from the sun to Proxima Centauri, stated in five sources as afact, has been found consistent. The distance to Proxima Centauri is 4.3 light-years.
Kathryn Tam -- 1996
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