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Alpha Centauri triple star system in the constellation Centaurus. The two main stars, Alpha Centauri A and B, have similar characteristics to the Sun and rotate around each other with a period of about 80 years.
The star smaller and less bright, Proxima Centauri, it is the one closest to our solar system.
The system of α Centauri is constituted by a pair of main-sequence stars of similar brightness, a yellow dwarf and dwarf orange very close to each other, to the point that to the naked eye or with a small binoculars appear to be a single star. In addition to these if you find a third, a red dwarf much more distant and fainter, called Proxima Centauri, which performs very wide orbit around the main couple. In October 2012, after extensive research, it was discovered a terrestrial planet orbiting the B component of the system. The system α Centauri appears to the naked eye as a single star yellowish; is observed in the direction of the southern Milky Way, at a declination of -60 ° 50 ‘, thus invisible from the entire area of continental Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, from northern China and most of North America.
Instead, start to be observed south of the 29th parallel north, corresponding to Egypt, to Texas, to the Arabian Peninsula to northern India and southern China; the best months for its observation from the northern hemisphere are those of April-May.
In the Southern Hemisphere, the star becomes circumpolar just left heading south on the Tropic of Capricorn: New Zealand and South Australia to Sydney, as well as from Argentina, is visible throughout the year. The culmination of α Centauri is midnight on April 9, while the culmination at 21:00 on June 8.
Alpha Centauri triple star system in the constellation Centaurus.
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