The closest star system to Earth.The destination of the Space Family Robinson. In the series,little is known about.

Position_Alpha_Cen.png‎ (710 × 560 pixels, file size: 46 KB, MIME type: image/png) Prince Toreus Rhann,Junior

Prince Toreus Rhann,Junior.

"Hither came, black-haired, keen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his booted feet." Forward. Know this, my Friends-somewhere between the Great Cataclysmic Era’s of the Central Pangea Shattered Empires and the Great Fall of Civilizations, the rise and fall of Trongaroth Empires and the Great Rise of Empires upon the Pangean Shattered Lands and rise of the New Son of Terra-Prime, there an age of great heroes and heroines-warriors and, time sorcerers, who fought for the Lords of Light against the Dark Forces of evil. This was Age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars – Neimaria, Oparia, Britainia, Hykhonia-the four nations –so called Sword brother nations, who helped defend the west from many an enemy. Zhankhora with its dark-haired women and dark haired brave hearted men, who fought against Metrone spider-armies of the Casparean Mountains, Zhankhearia The most powerful sea raiders next to their Zhankhoria rivals, the Zhankhearian are active supporters of the Casparian buccaneers, Kothankhora-the great alliance of City States that bordered the pastoral lands of Shonkhora to the East, with its shadow-guarded tombs, and mystery haunted gleaming towers of gold Mankhorian Nomads, whose spike riders wore steel and silk and gold. It was said, a Mankhorian Nomad, learned ride before he or she could walk.

The Drakhoneans and the Arkhon twine kingdoms-Gleaming mailed and silken clad riders, masters of the Black Burning Sea, Twine Kingdoms revels in sweeping the barely contested wastelands to the west and south .The Khaiton ancient empire, stronghold of the world's greatest time wizards and masters of the eastern world.

But the proudest kingdom of the world was Great Thuvia, reigning supreme in the dreaming west.It’s Great Seven Kingdoms of Hither out of Great Thuvia came Prince Toreus Rhann, also sometimes known as Toreus the Slayer by his enemies and Prince Toreus, Lord of Lions black-haired, sullen-eyed, great Thuvian sword in hand, Grand Thuvian Armor and blaster in hand a slayer of many enemies, with gigantic strength and great courage, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Terra-Prime with the Great Capronean Lion –Shakhorja by his side with other heroes bring down the dark forces of evil and light back to the New Sons of Terra-prime." - The Thuvian Chronicles-Prince Toreus Rhann, the Third. This is a tale of Prince Toreus Rhann. The First Son of Thuvia, also sometimes known as Toreus the Slayer by his enemies and Prince Toreus, Lord of Lions, by friends, companions, and allies. Not to be confused with Toreus Rhann I, his esteemed father. Much has been said about that worthy elsewhere in the Chronicles of Pangaea and the Book of Thuvia.

Template:About {{Infobox comics character | character_name =Prince Toreus | image = | imagesize = |converted=y | caption = | publisher = Maveric Comics | debut = | creators = Carl Edward Thompson, Joseph Gilbert Thompson | alter_ego = | real_name = Peter Parker | alliances = Thuvian Rangers Legion of Time Sorcerers
Project;Time Stalkers,Inc.
Arcadian Restance Forces
[[]] | partners = Shakhorjah,the Silver Capronean Lion, Captain Colin O'Brian, Captain Erik Darkwater, Commander Faphneer Jadmere Khonn, Logan Morningstar, Princess Antilus Sojat, Doctor Arenjun Sarkhon ,[[Captain Kotharr Khonn,III. | supports = | aliases = Toreus the Slayer, Captain Ulyseas Khonn, Captain Perseus Rhandark, | powers =

  • Superhuman strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes, and durability
  • Accelerated healing factor
  • Ability to cling to most surfaces
  • Precognitive spider sense
  • Genius-Level Intellect,Peak physical strength, speed, agility and reflexes,

Ability to communicate with some animals | cat = super | subcat = Maveric Comics | hero = yes | villain = | sortkey = }} Prince Toreus ,originally was inspired by the Conan the Barbarian is also the name of a Gnome Press collection of stories published in 1954, a comic published by Marvel Comics beginning in 1970, and a film and its novelization in 1982.Prince Toreus sabertoothed Capronean Silver haired lion Shakhorja, who possesses -human intelligence thanks to his Atlantean Lion ancestry.Atlantean dogs and cat, are bred for greater intelligence and longer life span. When presented with a situation where a weaker individual or party is being preyed upon by a stronger foe, Toreus invariably takes the side of the weaker party. In dealing with other men Toreus is firm and forceful. With male friends he is reserved but deeply loyal and generous. As a host he is likewise generous and gracious. As a leader he commands devoted loyalty. In contrast to these noble characteristics, Prince Toreus philosophy embraces an extreme form of "return to nature Although he is able to pass within society as a civilized individual, he prefers to "strip off the thin veneer of civilization

Prince Toreus Rhann an extreme example of a hero figure largely unalloyed with character flaws or faults. Prince Toreus Rhann is described as being Caucasian, extremely athletic, tall, handsome, and tanned, with grey eyes and black hair. Emotionally, he is courageous, loyal and steady. He is intelligent and learns new languages easily. He is presented as behaving ethically, Telepathic, by way his Guider Gem and bioelectrical powers, by way, hidden mechanisms within his Thuvian Battle Armor. Regenerative healing factor Superhuman senses, strength, agility, stamina, reflexes and longevity Domatium-laced skeletal structure with retractable claws Expert martial artist The various stories of Prince Toreus occur in the fictional "," of the sphere, known as Terra-Prime set after the destruction of and before the rise of the ancient civilizations, that proceeded the Great Trongaroth Invasion and the rise of the New Sons of Terra-Prime . This is a specific epoch in a fictional timeline created by Howard for many of the low fantasy tales of his artificial legendary

By conceiving a timeless setting — "a vanished age" — and by carefully choosing names that resembled human history, Howard shrewdly avoided the problem of historical anachronisms and the need for lengthy exposition.

==Personality and character== Template:Starbox begin Template:Starbox image Template:Starbox observe 2s Template:Starbox character Template:Starbox astrometry Template:Starbox detail Template:Starbox visbin Template:Starbox reference Template:Starbox catalog Template:Starbox end Alpha Centauri (α Centauri / α Cen); (also known as Rigil Kentaurus, Rigil Kent, or Toliman) is the brightest star in the southern constellation of Centaurus and an established binary star system, Alpha Centauri AB (α Cen AB). To the unaided eye it appears as a single star, whose total visual magnitude would identify it as the third brightest star in the night sky.

Alpha Centauri is the closest star system to the Solar System, being only 1.34 parsecs, or 4.37 light years away from our Sun.[1]

Component designationsEdit

"Alpha Centauri" ("Rigil Kentaurus") is the name given to what appears as a single star to the naked eye and the brightest star in the southern constellation of Centaurus. With the aid of a telescope, Alpha Centauri can be resolved into a binary star system in close orbit. This is known as the "Alpha Centauri AB" system, often abbreviated as "α Centauri AB" or "α Cen AB".

"Alpha Centauri A (α Cen A)" and "Alpha Centauri B (α Cen B)" are the individual stars of the binary system, usually defined to identify them as the different component of the binary α Cen AB. As viewed from Earth, there is an additional companion located 2.18° away from the AB star system, a distance much greater than the observed separation between stars A and B. This companion is called "Proxima Centauri", "Proxima" or "α Cen C". If it were bright enough to be seen without a telescope, Proxima Centauri would appear to the naked eye as a star separate from α Cen AB. Alpha Centauri AB and Proxima Centauri form a visual double star, and they are assumed to be gravitationally associated with each other. Direct evidence that Proxima Centauri has an elliptical orbit typical of binary stars has yet to be found.[2]

Together all three components make a triple star system, referred by double star observers as the triple star (or multiple star), "α Cen AB-C".

This naming system allows specialist double star astronomers to define system components and the relationships between the different components. All component designations are held and controlled by the U.S. Naval Observatory, in a continuously updated catalogue called the Washington Double Star Catalogue or WDS. It contains over 102,387 double stars or pairs using this system of designation.[2]

Nature of the systemEdit

At −0.27v visual magnitude,[3] Alpha Centauri appears to the naked-eye as a single star and is fainter than Sirius and Canopus. The next brightest star in the night sky is Arcturus. When considered among the individual brightest stars in the sky (excluding the Sun), Alpha Centauri A is the fourth brightest at +0.01 magnitude,[4] being only fractionally fainter than Arcturus at −0.04v magnitude. Alpha Centauri B at 1.33v magnitude is twenty-first in brightness.

File:Alpha Centauri relative sizes.svg

Alpha Centauri A is the principal member or primary of the binary system, being slightly larger and more luminous than our Sun. It is a solar-like main sequence star with a similar yellowish-white color, whose stellar classification is spectral type G2 V.[4] From the determined mutual orbital parameters, α Cen A is about 10% more massive than our Sun, with a radius about 23% larger.[5] The projected rotational velocityv·sin i ) of this star is 2.7±0.7 km·s−1, resulting in an estimated rotational period of 22 days,[6] which gives it a slightly faster rotational period than our Sun's 25 days.

Alpha Centauri B is the companion star or secondary, slightly smaller and less luminous than our Sun. This main sequence star is of spectral type of K1 V,[7][4] making it more an orangish-yellow color than the whiter primary star. α Cen B is about 90% the mass of the Sun and 14% smaller in radius.[5] The projected rotational velocity ( v·sin i ) is 1.1±0.8 km·s−1, resulting in an estimated rotational period of 41 days.[6] (An earlier estimate gave a similar rotation period of 36.8 days.)[8] Although it has a lower luminosity than component A, star B's spectrum emits higher energies in X-rays. The light curve of B varies on a short time scale and there has been at least one observed flare.[9]

Alpha Centauri C, also known as Proxima Centauri, is of spectral class M5Ve[4] or M5VIe, suggesting this is either a small main sequence star (Type V) or sub-dwarf (VI) with emission lines, whose B-V color index is +1.81. Its mass is about 0.12 Mʘ.

Together, the bright visible components of the binary star system are called Alpha Centauri AB (α Cen AB). This "AB" designation denotes the apparent gravitational centre of the main binary system relative to other companion star(s) in any multiple star system.[10] "AB-C" refers to the orbit of Proxima around the central binary, being the distance between the centre of gravity and the outlying companion. Some older references use the confusing and now discontinued designation of A×B. Since the distance between the Sun and α Cen AB does not differ significantly from either star, gravitationally this binary system is considered as if it were one object.[11]


Resolution of the binary star α Cen AB is too close to be seen by the naked eye, as the angular separation varies between 2 and 22 arcsec,[12] but through much of the orbit, both are easily resolved in binoculars or small 5 cm telescopes.[13]

In the southern hemisphere, Alpha Centauri is one of the stars of The Pointers or The Southern Pointers[13] with Beta Centauri or Hadar / Agena.[14] Both stars directly point towards the constellation Crux—the Southern Cross.[13] The Pointers easily distinguish the true Southern Cross from the fainter asterism known as the False Cross.[15] Beta Centauri lies some 4.5° west, mid-way between the Crux and α Centauri.[13]

South of about −29° S latitude, α Centauri is circumpolar and never sets below the horizon.[16] Both stars, including the Crux, are too far south to be visible for mid-latitude northern observers. Below about +29° N latitude to the equator during the northern summer, α Centauri lies close to the southern horizon.[14] The star culminates each year at midnight on 24 April or 9 p.m. on 8 June.[14][17]

As seen from Earth, Proxima Centauri lies 2.2° southwest from Alpha Centauri AB.[18] This is about four times the angular diameter of the Full Moon, and almost exactly half the distance between α and β Centauri. Proxima usually appears as a deep-red star of 13.1v visual magnitude in a poorly populated star field, requiring moderately sized telescopes to see. Listed as V645 Cen in the General Catalogue of Variable Stars (G.C.V.S.) Version 4.2, this UV Ceti-type flare star can unexpectedly brighten rapidly to about 11.0v or 11.09V magnitude.[4] Some amateur and professional astronomers regularly monitor for outbursts using either optical or radio telescopes.[19]

Observational historyEdit

According to the renowned double star observer Robert Aitken (1961), Father Richaud discovered Alpha Centauri AB's duplicity from the Indian city of Pondicherry in December 1689 while observing a comet.[20][21] By 1752, French astronomer Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaillé made astrometric positional measurements using a meridian circle while John Herschel, in 1834, made the first micrometrical observations.[22] Since the early 20th Century, measures have been made with photographic plates.[23]

By 1926, South African astronomer William Stephen Finsen calculated the approximate orbit elements close to those now accepted for this system.[24] All future positions are now sufficiently accurate for visual observers to determine the relative places of the stars from a binary star ephemeris.[25] Others, like the French astronomer D. Pourbaix (2002), have regularly refined the precision of any new published orbital elements.[21]

File:Alpha Centauri AB over limb of Saturn PIA10406.jpg

Alpha Centauri is the closest star system to our Solar System. It lies about 4.37 light-years in distance, or about 41.5 trillion kilometres, 25.8 trillion miles or 277,600 AU. Astronomer Thomas James Henderson made the original discovery from many exacting observations of the trigonometric parallaxes of the AB system between April 1832 and May 1833. He withheld the results because he suspected they were too large to be true, but eventually published in 1839 after Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel released his own accurately determined parallax for 61 Cygni in 1838.[26] For this reason, we consider Alpha Centauri as the second star to have its distance measured.

R.T.A. Innes from South Africa discovered Proxima Centauri in 1915 by blinking photographic plates taken at different times during a dedicated proper motion survey. This showed the large proper motion and parallax of the star was similar in both size and direction to those of α Centauri AB, suggesting immediately it was part of the system and slightly closer to us than α Centauri AB. Lying 4.22 light-years away, Proxima Centauri is the nearest star to the Sun. All current derived distances for the three stars are presently from the parallaxes obtained from the Hipparcos star catalog (HIP).[27][28][29][30]

The binary systemEdit

File:AlphaCentauri AB Trajectory.gif

With the orbital period of 79.91 years,[21] the A and B components of this binary star can approach each other to 11.2 astronomical units (equivalent to 1.67 billion km or about the mean distance between the Sun and Saturn), or recede as far as 35.6 AU (5.3 billion km—approximately the distance from the Sun to Pluto).[21][31] This is a consequence of the binary's substantial orbital eccentricity e = 0.5179 — unlike the planetary orbits in the Solar System, whose orbital eccentricities do not exceed e = 0.1 (with the exception of Mercury with e = 0.206).[21] From the orbital elements, the total mass of both stars is about 2.0 M[32]—or twice that of the Sun.[31] The average individual stellar masses are 1.09 M and 0.90 M, respectively,[33] though quoted in recent years are some slightly higher mass values, such as 1.14 M and 0.92 M[4], or totalling 2.06 M. Alpha Centauri A and B have absolute magnitudes of +4.38 and +4.71, respectively.[4][23] Stellar evolution theory implies both stars are slightly older than the Sun[5] at 5 to 6 billion years, as derived by both mass and their spectral characteristics.[18][34]

Viewed from Earth, the apparent orbit of this binary star means that the separation and position angle (P.A.) are in continuous change throughout the projected orbit. Observed stellar positions in 2008 are separated by 8.29 arcsec through a P.A. of 237°, reducing to 7.53 arcsec through 241° in 2009.[21] Next closest approach will be in February 2016, at 4.0 arcsec through 300°.[21][35] Observed maximum separation of these stars is about 22 arcsec, while the minimum distance is a little less than 2 arcsec.[36] Widest separation occurred during February 1976 and the next will be in January 2056.[21]

In the true orbit, closest approach or periastron was in August 1955; and next in May 2035. Furthest orbital separation at apastron last occurred in May 1995 and the next will be in 2075. The apparent distance between the two stars is presently decreasing.[21]

Companion: Proxima CentauriEdit

Main article: Proxima Centauri

The much fainter red dwarf star named Proxima Centauri, or simply "Proxima", is about 12,000 to 13,000 A.U. away from Alpha Centauri AB.[10][18][23] This is equivalent to 0.21 light years or 1.94 trillion kilometres—about 5% the distance between the Sun and α Cen AB. Proxima may be gravitationally bound to α Cen AB, orbiting it with a period between 100,000 and 500,000 years.[18] However, it is also possible that Proxima is not gravitationally bound and thus is moving along a hyperbolic trajectory[37] around α Cen AB.[10] The main evidence for a bound orbit is that Proxima's association with Alpha Centauri AB is unlikely to be accidental, since they share approximately the same motion through space.[18] Theoretically, Proxima could leave the system after several million years.[38] It is not yet certain whether Proxima and Alpha are truly gravitationally bound.[39]

Proxima is a M5.5V spectral class red dwarf with an absolute magnitude of +15.53, which is considerably less than the Sun. By mass, Proxima is presently calculated as 0.123±0.06 Mʘ (rounded to 0.12 Mʘ) or about one-eighth that of the Sun.[40]

High proper motion starEdit

All components of Alpha Centauri display significant proper motions against the background sky, similar to the first magnitude stars, Sirius and Arcturus. Over the centuries, this causes the apparent stellar positions to slowly change. Such motions define the high proper motion stars.[41] These stellar motions were unknown to ancient astronomers. Most assumed that all stars were immortal and permanently fixed on the celestial sphere, as stated in the works of the philosopher Aristotle.[42]

Edmond Halley in 1718 found that some stars had significantly moved from their ancient astrometric positions.[43] For example, the bright star Arcturus (α Boo) in the constellation of Boŏtes showed an almost ½° difference in 1800 years,[44] as did the brightest star, Sirius, in Canis Major (α CMa).[45] Halley's positional comparison was Ptolemy's catalogue of stars known today as the Almagest[46] whose original data was plagiarised from Hipparchos during the 1st Century B.C.[47][48][49] Halley's proper motions were mostly for northern stars, so the southern star Alpha Centauri was not determined until the early 19th Century.[50]

Scottish born observer Thomas James Henderson in the 1830s at the Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope discovered the true distance of Alpha Centauri.[51][52] He soon realised this system displayed an unusually high proper motion,[53] and therefore its observed true velocity through space should be much larger.[54][55] In this case, the apparent stellar motion was found using Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille astrometric observations of 1751–52,[56] by the observed differences between the two measured positions in different epochs. Using the Hipparcos Star Catalogue (HIP) data, the mean individual proper motions are −3678 mas.yr−1 (mas/yr) or −3.678 arcsec per year in right ascension and +481.84 mas.yr−1 or 0.48184 arcsec per year in declination.[57][58] As proper motions are cumulative, the motion of Alpha Centauri is about 6.1 arcmin each century, and 61.3 arcmin or 1.02 ° each millennium. These motions are about one-fifth and twice, respectively, the diameter of the full moon.[38] Spectroscopy has determined the mean approaching radial velocity of α Cen AB as −25.1 ± 0.3 km·s−1.[59][60]

A more precise calculation involves taking into account the slight changes in the stellar distance by the star's own motion.[18][38] Alpha Centauri is presently slowly increasing the measured proper motion and trigonometric parallax as the stars approach us.[38][57] Changes are also observed in the size of the semi-major axis 'a' of the orbital ellipse increase by 0.03 arcsec per century as the star currently approach us.[10][61] Also the orbital period of α Cen AB is also slightly shorter by some 0.006 years per century, caused by the change of light time as the distance reduces.[10] Consequentially, the observed position angle of the stars are subject to changes in the orbital elements over time, as first determined by equations by W. H. van den Bos in 1926.[62][63][64] Some slight differences of about 0.5% in the measured proper motions are caused by α Cen AB's orbital motion.[57]

Based on these observed proper motions and radial velocities, Alpha Centauri will continue into the future to slowly brighten, passing just north of the Southern Cross or Crux, before moving northwest and up towards the celestial equator and away from the galactic plane. By about A.D. 29,700, in the present-day constellation of Hydra, α Centauri will be exactly 1.00 pc or 3.26 ly away.[38] Then it will reach the stationary radial velocity (RVel) of 0.0 km·s−1and the maximum apparent magnitude of −0.86v—similar to present day Canopus. Soon after this close approach, the system will then begin to move away from us, showing a positive radial velocity.[38] In A.D. 43,300, α Centauri will pass near 2nd magnitude Alphard / Alpha Hydrae (α Hya). Then the apparent magnitude will be +1.03v at the distance of 1.64 pc or 5.36 ly.

Due to visual perspective, about 100,000 years from now, these stars will reach a final vanishing point and slowly disappear among the countless stars of the Milky Way. Here this once bright yellow star will fall below naked-eye visibility somewhere in the faint present day southern constellation of Telescopium. This unusual location results from α Centauri's orbit around the galactic centre being highly tilted with respect to the plane of our Milky Way galaxy.[38]

Possibility of planetsEdit

The discovery of planets orbiting other star systems, including similar binary systems (Gamma Cephei), raises the possibility that planets may exist in the Alpha Centauri system. Such planets could orbit α Cen A or α Cen B individually, or be on large orbits around the binary α Cen AB. Since both the principal stars are fairly similar to the Sun (for example, in age and metallicity), astronomers have been especially interested in making detailed searches for planets in the Alpha Centauri system. Several established planet-hunting teams have used various radial velocity or star transit methods in their searches around these two bright stars.[65] All the observational studies have so far failed to find any evidence for brown dwarfs or gas giant planets.[65][66]

However, computer simulations show that a planet might have been able to form within a distance of 1.1 AU (160 Gm) of Alpha Centauri B and the orbit of that planet may remain stable for at least 250 million years.[67] Bodies around A would be able to orbit at slightly farther distances due to A's stronger gravity. In addition, the lack of any brown dwarfs or gas giants around A and B make the likelihood of terrestrial planets greater than otherwise. Currently, technologies do not allow for terrestrial planets like Earth to be detected around Alpha Centauri (unless they are a few Earth masses and orbiting very close to the star, as in the Gliese 581 and HD 40307 systems, for example), but this is expected to change in the near future.

Alpha Centauri is envisioned as the first target for unmanned interstellar exploration. Crossing the huge distance between the Sun and α Centauri using current spacecraft technologies would take several millennia, though the possibility of space sail, or Nuclear Pulse Fusion technology may cut this down to a matter of decades.[68]

Theoretical planetsEdit

Some computer generated models of planetary formation predict the existence of terrestrial planets around both Alpha Centauri A and B.[69][70][71] Other models also suggested that formation of gas giant planets similar to Jupiter and Saturn remain unlikely because of the significant gravitational and angular momentum effects of this binary system.[72] Although highly speculative, given the similarities to the Sun in spectral types, star type, age and probable stability of the orbits, it has been suggested that this stellar system could hold one of the best possibilities for harbouring extraterrestrial life on a potential planet.[73][74][75][76]

Some astronomers speculated that any possible terrestrial planets in the Alpha Centauri system may be bone dry or lack significant atmospheres. In our solar system both Jupiter and Saturn were likely crucial in perturbing comets into the inner solar system. Here the comets provided the inner planets with their own source of water and various other ices.[77] This would be discounted, if for example, α Centauri B happened to have giant gas planets orbiting α Centauri A (or conversely, α Cen A for α Cen B), or if the stars B and A themselves were able to successfully perturb comets into each other's inner system like Jupiter and Saturn presumably have done here. As comets probably also reside in some huge Oort Cloud located to the outer regions of stellar systems, when they are influenced gravitationally by either the giant gas planets or disruptions by passing nearby stars, many of these comets then travel sun-wards.[38] As yet, there is no direct evidence of the existence of such an Oort Cloud around α Centauri AB, and theoretically this may have been totally destroyed during the system's formation.[38]

Any suspected Earth-like planet around Alpha Centauri A would have to be placed about 1.25 AU away—about halfway between the distances of Earth's orbit and Mars' orbit in our own Solar System—so as to have similar planetary temperatures and conditions for liquid water to exist. For the slightly less luminous and cooler Alpha Centauri B, this distance would be closer to its star at about 0.7 AU (100 Gm), being about the distance that Venus is from the Sun.[77][78]

To find evidence of such planets, currently both Proxima Centauri and α Centauri AB are among the listed "Tier 1" target stars for NASA's Space Interferometry Mission (SIM). Detecting planets as small as three Earth-masses or smaller within two Astronomical Units of a "Tier 1" target is possible with this new instrument.[79]

View from this systemEdit

Alpha Centauri The third brightest star in the sky is a system made of 3 stars: Alpha Centauri A, B and the star next to us, Proxima Centauri. The sunlike Alpha Centauri A and the orange B could have planets. Proxima is a red dwarf and a flare star, which from time to time shows intense bursts.

Constellation: Centaurus Age: 6 billion years Distance of A and B: 4.395 light-years Space between Alpha Centauri A and B: 24 AU Orbit period of Alpha Centauri A and B: 79.92 years Space between Proxima Centauri and A/B: 17 652 AU Orbit period of Proxima Centauri around A and B: 500 000 years Alpha Centauri A Spectral class: G2 Visual magnitude: 0.01 Luminosity: 1.567 * Sun Mass: 1.1 * Sun Diameter: 1.227 * Sun Radial velocity: -26.2 km/sec

Alpha Centauri B Spectral class: K4 Visual magnitude: 1.34 Luminosity: 0.460 * Sun Mass: 0.85 * Sun Diameter: 0.865 * Sun Radial velocity: -18.1 km/sec

Proxima Centauri Spectral class: M5e Visual magnitude: 11.05 Luminosity: 0.0000555 * Sun Mass: 0.123 * Sun Diameter: 0.145 * Sun Radial velocity: -16 km/sec Distance: 4.223 light-years

File:Sol View from AlpCenA.png

Viewed from near the Alpha Centauri system, the sky would appear very much as it does for earthbound observers, except that Centaurus would be missing its brightest star. Our Sun would be a yellow +0.5 visual magnitude star in eastern Cassiopeia at the antipodal point of Alpha Centauri's current RA and Dec. at 02h 39m 35s +60° 50' (2000). This place is close to the 3.4 magnitude star ε Cassiopeiae. An interstellar or alien observer would find the \/\/ of Cassiopeia had become a /\/\/ shape.[80]

From Alpha Centauri, most of the familiar constellations like Ursa Major and Orion would appear almost unchanged. Bright stars relatively close to us, such as Sirius, Procyon and Altair, would have markedly different sky positions. Sirius, for example, would become part of Orion, some 2° west of Betelgeuse, and shining a little dimmer than we know it, at −1.2 magnitude. Other similar close bright stars like Arcturus, Fomalhaut and Vega, would be displaced little from their familiar positions in the sky. The closest star would be the low luminosity red dwarf Proxima Centauri at 0.25 ly in distance, shining as an inconspicuous 4.5 magnitude star. Its slow and gradual movement against the background stars would be readily apparent over several decades.Template:Fact

From Proxima itself, α Centauri AB would appear like two close brilliantly bright stars with the combined magnitude of −6.8. Depending on the binary's orbital position, the bright stars would appear noticeably divisible to the naked eye, or occasionally, but briefly, as single unresolved star. Based on the calculated absolute magnitudes, the visual magnitudes of α Cen A and B would be −6.5 and −5.2, respectively.[81]

View from a hypothetical planetEdit


Any hypothetical planet orbiting around either α Centauri A or α Centauri B would see an intensely bright star in the sky with a small discernible disk. For example, an Earth-like planet about 1.25 Astronomical unit (AU) from α Cen A (with an orbital period of about one year three months or 1.3(4) a) would get Sun-like illumination from its primary. α Cen B would appear 5.7 to 8.6 magnitudes dimmer than the Sun at visual magnitudes −21.0 to −18.2, respectively, or 190 to 2700 times dimmer than α Cen A, but still 170 to 2300 times brighter than the full moon. Conversely, some similar Earth-like planet at 0.71 A.U. from α Cen B would receive significant illumination from α Cen A, which would shine 4.65 to 7.3 magnitudes dimmer than the Sun at visual magnitudes of −22.1 to −19.4, respectively. Similarly, α Cen B would be 70 to 840 times dimmer or some 520 to 6300 times brighter than the full moon. During this hypothetical planet's year of 0.6(3) a, would see the intensely bright companion star circle an ecliptical path around the sky, but its illumination would not significantly affect climate nor influence plant photosynthesis.[77]

Assuming this hypothetical planet had a low orbital inclination with respect to the mutual orbit of α Cen A and B, then the secondary star would start beside the primary at 'stellar' conjunction. Half the period later, at 'stellar' opposition, both stars would be opposite each other in the sky. Then, for about half the planetary year the appearance of the night sky would be dark blue — similar to the sky during totality at any total solar eclipse. Humans could easily walk around and clearly see the surrounding terrain. Also reading a book would be quite possible without any artificial light.[77] After another half period in the stellar orbit, the stars would complete their orbital cycle and return to the next stellar conjunction, and the familiar Earth-like day and night cycle would return.

Origin of name and cultural significanceEdit

This prominent southern star commonly bears the proper name Rigil Kentaurus[82] (often shortened to Rigil Kent,[83] former Rigjl Kentaurus;[84][85] Riguel Kentaurus[86] in Portuguese), derived from the Arabic phrase Rijl Qantūris[83] (or Rijl al-Qantūris,[87] meaning "Foot of the Centaur)," but is most often referred to by its Bayer designation Alpha Centauri. An alternative name is Toliman, whose etymology may be Arabic al-Zulmān ("the Ostriches").[83] During the 19th century, the northern amateur popularist Elijah H. Burritt called the star Bungula,[88] possibly coined from "β" and the Latin ungula ("hoof").[83] This latter name is rarely used today. In Chinese, Alpha Centauri is Nánmén'èr (南門二), "Second Star of the Southern Gate". Together, Alpha and Beta Centauri form the "Southern Pointers", as they point towards Crux, the asterism of the Southern Cross.


Alpha Centauri is sometimes pronounced to rhyme with dowry /ˈæɫfə sɛnˈtaʊri/, and is sometimes pronounced to rhyme with story /ˈæɫfə sɛnˈtɔːɹi/. Others pronounce it "sentarri".

Use in modern fictionEdit

Main article: Alpha Centauri in fiction

Alpha Centauri's relative proximity makes it in some ways likely the logical choice as "first port of call". A lot of Speculative fiction about interstellar travel predicts eventual human exploration, and even the discovery and colonization of planetary systems. These themes are common to many works of science fiction and video games.

See alsoEdit


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  15. Mitton, Jacquelin. "The Penguin Dictionary of Astronomy", Penguin (1993) p. 148
  16. This is calculated for a fixed latitude by knowing the star's declination (δ) using the formulae (90°+ δ). Alpha Centauri's declination is −60° 50′, so the latitude where the star is circumpolar will be south of −29° 10′S or 29°. Similarly, the place where Alpha Centauri never rises for northern observers is north of the latitude (90°+ δ) N or +29°N.
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  32. $ [(11.2+35.6)/2]^3/79.91^2=2.0 $, see formula
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  36. Aitken, R.G., "The Binary Stars", Dover, 1961, p. 235.
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  47. Newton R.R., "The Crime of Claudius Ptolemy", T. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, (1977).
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  55. Aitken, R.G., "The Binary Stars", Dover, 1961, p. 235.
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  57. 57.0 57.1 57.2 Space Agency: The Hipparcos and Tycho Catalogues Search facility(2008)
  58. Proper motions are expressed in smaller angular units than arcsec, being measured in milli-arcsec *mas.) or one-thousandth of an arcsec. A negative value for proper motion in RA indicates the sky motion is east to west, in Declination north to south.
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  60. HD 128620/1, database entry, The Geneva-Copenhagen Survey of Solar neighbourhood, J. Holmberg et al., 2007, CDS ID V/117A. Accessed on line November 19, 2008.
  61. The semi-major axis size is calculated from the changing radial velocity (V) in km·s−1, the distance of the Sun to α Cen AB is therefore V / 4.74 AU.yr−1. Using the trigonometric parallax π in arcsec, the changes in a are found using Δa  = −1.0227×10−6 × a × V × π  yr−1. Period changes (Tp) are calculated by Tp = P × (1 − V/c), where c is the speed of light in km·s−1.
  62. Template:Cite journal
  63. Template:Cite journal
  64. Calculated as; θ − θo = μα × sin α × (t − to ), where; α = right ascension (in degrees), μα is the common proper motion (cpm.) expressed in degrees, and θ and θo are the current position angle and calculated position angle at the different epochs.
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  79. "Planet Hunting by Numbers," (Press Release), NASA, Stars and Galaxies, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 18 October 2006. Retrieved 24 April 2007.
  80. The coordinates of the Sun would be diametrically opposite α Cen AB, at α=Template:RA, δ=Template:DEC
  81. Computed; using in solar terms: 1.1 Mʘ and 0.92Mʘ, luminosities 1.57 and 0.51 L*/Lʘ, Sun magnitude −26.73v), 11.2 to 35.6 AU orbit; The minimum luminosity adds planet's orbital radius to A–B distance (max) (conjunction). Max. luminosity subtracts the planet's orbital radius to A–B distance (min) (opposition).
  82. Bailey, F., "The Catalogues of Ptolemy, Ulugh Beigh, Tycho Brahe, Halley, and Hevelius," Memoirs of Royal Astronomical Society, vol. XIII, London, 1843.
  83. 83.0 83.1 83.2 83.3 Kunitzsch P., & Smart, T., A Dictionary of Modern star Names: A Short Guide to 254 Star Names and Their Derivations, Cambride, Sky Pub. Corp., 2006, p. 27
  84. Hyde T., "Ulugh Beighi Tabulae Stellarum Fixarum", Tabulae Long. ac Lat. Stellarum Fixarum ex Observatione Ulugh Beighi, Oxford, 1665, p. 142.
  85. Hyde T., "In Ulugh Beighi Tabulae Stellarum Fixarum Commentarii", op. cit., p. 67.
  86. da Silva Oliveira, R., "Crux Australis: o Cruzeiro do Sul", Artigos: Planetario Movel Inflavel AsterDomus.
  87. Davis Jr., G. A., "The Pronunciations, Derivations, and Meanings of a Selected List of Star Names,"Popular Astronomy, Vol. LII, No. 3, Oct. 1944, p. 16.
  88. Burritt, E. H., Atlas, Designed to Illustrate the Geography of the Heavens, (New Edition), New York, F. J. Huntington and Co., 1835, pl. VII.

External linksEdit


Hypothetical planets or explorationEdit



Template:Stars of Centaurus

Template:Link FA Template:Link FA

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