Proxima Centauri, or Alpha Centauri C, is the title holder of being our closest neighboring star (Glass (2007)Anglada-Escudé et al. (2016a)), other than Sun, despite being at a whopping distance of 4.25 light-years (Lurie et al. (2014)). A part of the Alpha Centauri star system it is the third star with other two being, Alpha Centauri A (Rigil Kentaurus) and Alpha Centauri B, a pair orbiting around each other. The separation between the two stars and Proxima is estimated to be 13,000 +300/-100 astronomical units (Kervella et al. (2017)).

Characteristics:

Proxima Centauri (pCen from here on) is a red dwarf of M6Ve spectral type (Torres et al. (2006)) residing in the constellation Centaurus. It hosts a terrestrial planet dubbed Proxima b within its habitable zone (Anglada-Escudé et al. (2016b)). Compared to the Sun its absolute visual magnitude is 15.6 (Kamper & Wesselink (1978)), apparent magnitude of 11.13 (Jao et al. (2014)), luminosity is 0.17% (Doyle & Butler (1990)) with most of its light emitted in the infrared region (Leggett (1992)).

Estimates:

Being the closest star to us, it is one of the most extensively studied star estimates of the mass of pCen are around 12.3% of the Solar Mass or 129 Jupiters (Ségransan et al. (2003)) and of the radius being around 14.1% of the Solar Radius (Demory et al. (2009)).

References:

Anglada-Escudé, G., Amado, P. J., Barnes, J., et al. 2016a, Nature, 536, 437
Anglada-Escudé, G., Amado, P. J., Barnes, J., et al. 2016b, Nature, 536, 437
Demory, B.-O., Ségransan, D., Forveille, T., et al. 2009, A&A, 505, 205
Doyle, J. G. & Butler, C. J. 1990, A&A, 235, 335
Glass, I. S. 2007, African Skies, 11, 39
Jao,W.-C., Henry, T. J., Subasavage, J. P., et al. 2014, AJ, 147, 21
Kamper, K. W. & Wesselink, A. J. 1978, AJ, 83, 1653
Kervella, P., Thévenin, F., & Lovis, C. 2017, A&A, 598, L7
Leggett, S. K. 1992, ApJS, 82, 351
Lurie, J. C., Henry, T. J., Jao, W.-C., et al. 2014, AJ, 148, 91
Ségransan, D., Kervella, P., Forveille, T., & Queloz, D. 2003, A&A, 397, L5
Torres, C. A. O., Quast, G. R., da Silva, L., et al. 2006, A&A, 460, 695

Advertisements