A clear sky with stars all around, isn’t that beautiful to see? The black and clean sky filled with diamond like sparkling and twinkling stars is something that no person can stop admiring. It is indeed, one of the most beautiful views of nature. The size of the Universe is beyond our imagination. Our earth is just a very small part of it. From the earth, we see uncountable stars around. It is impossible to count them.
The stars in the sky look very small. But in real, these tiny looking stars are million times bigger than what we actually see. Generally, the stars closer to us looks bigger than the stars away from the Earth. Alpha Centauri is one among those numberless star systems which makes the sky look magnificent. In 1600s, scientists realize that there was a star that had tight orbiting pair. It was named as Alpha Centauri. Further research proved that Alpha Centauri is not actually a star, but a star system. This star system has three stars- Alpha Centauri A, Alpha Centauri B and Proxima Centauri. The distance between celestial bodies is measured in terms of light years. Alpha Centauri is 4.3 light years away from the earth.
In the southern constellation, the star which is closest to earth and is visible through the naked eye is named as Alpha Centauri. These are high proper motion stars. The position of these bodies in the Universe do not change in a short span of time. The stars rotate in an orbital path . it is the closest star system to the Sun. The three stars of Alpha Centauri are situated far away from each other and have certain properties.
The first star ie. Alpha Centauri A is also the fourth brightest star which can be seen from Earth. The size and luminosity of this star is slightly more than the Sun. it is slightly yellowish in color with 22 days rotational period. It is 10% bigger than the sun and has the radius which is 23% more than the radius of the Sun.
Alpha Centauri B is the second star of the binary star system. It is closer to Alpha Centauri A but very far from planet Earth. It has more of orange color. Being the secondary star, the mass of Alpha Centauri B is 90% of the sun. Even the radius is less than that of the sun with the rotational period of approximately 41 days. It is less luminous than Alpha Centauri A but the X rays emitted from it is more.
After Arcturus and Sirius, Proxima Centauri is the third brightest star that can be seen from the Earth. This star is the third member of Alpha Centauri star system. Also named as Alpha Centauri C, it is situated at around 4.25 light years from the Sun. the diameter of Proxima Centauri is one sixth of the diameter of the Sun. This is the reason for calling it a red dwarf star. Even the luminosity of Proxima Centauri is the least among all the stars of the star system.
Alpha Centauri, being so close to the Sun, has always been a matter of interest for the scientists. Research says that there are possibilities of the existence of a planet similar to Earth in the zones of Alpha Centauri star system. Satellites, devices and machines are being invented to have a closer observation of this star system. Though the existence of such planet is under doubt, but there is always a hope and there are possibilities that Alpha Centauri would become a place where life could be found in future!