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Alpha Centauri Reference Libraries

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Lyra Constellation
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Lyra Constellation -- Lyra (the lyre) is a prominent, although fairly small, northern constellation. It was one of Ptolemy's 48 constellations, and also counts among the modern 88 constellations. Its brightest star is Vega (Alpha Lyrae), which together with Altair (Alpha Aquilae) and Deneb (Alpha Cygni) forms the large asterism known as the Summer Triangle. Beta Lyr is a half separated...

Centaurus Constellation
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Centaurus Constellation -- Centaurus (the centaur) was one of the 48 constellations listed by Ptolemy, and counts also among the 88 modern constellations. A constellation of the southern hemisphere, mentioned by Eudoxus (4th century B.C.) and Aratus (3rd century B.C.), Ptolemy catalogued thirty-seven stars in it. It contains Proxima Centauri, the red dwarf that is the nearest known star...

Red Dwarf
2004-10-19 04:45:42

Red Dwarf -- A red dwarf is a small star on the main sequence, either late K or M spectral type. They have a diameter and mass of less than one-third that of the Sun (down to 0.08 solar masses, which are Brown dwarves) and a surface temperature of less than 3,500 K. They emit little light, sometimes as little as 1/10,000th that of the sun. Due to the slow rate at which they burn...

Vega
2004-10-19 04:45:40

Vega -- Vega (Alpha Lyrae) is the lead star in the constellation Lyra, reaching near directly overhead the mid-northern latitudes, during the summer. It's a "nearby star" at only 25 light years distant and together with Arcturus and Sirius, one of the brightest stars in the Sun's neighbourhood. Vega is a vertex of the Summer Triangle. Its spectral class is A0V (Sirius, an A1V, is slightly...

Proxima Centauri
2004-10-19 04:45:40

Proxima Centauri -- The red dwarf star Proxima Centauri (also Alpha Centauri C), part of the Alpha Centauri star system, is the nearest star to our Earth other than the Sun. Proxima Centauri is roughly 4.22 light years from Earth, 270,000 times as far as the sun. Its apparent magnitude is 11 (very weak, as red dwarfs in general are: far too weak to be observable with the naked eye)....

Omega Centauri
2004-10-19 04:45:40

Omega Centauri -- Discovered by Edmond Halley in 1677. About 10 million stars orbit the center of this globular cluster - named Omega Centauri - as this giant globular cluster orbits our Galactic center. Recent evidence indicates that Omega Centauri is by far the most massive of the about 150 known globular clusters in the Milky Way. Omega Centauri, cataloged as NGC 5139, spans...

Alpha Centauri
2004-10-19 04:45:40

Alpha Centauri -- Alpha Centauri is the brightest star system in the southern constellation of Centaurus, and is the third brightest in the entire night sky (although too far south to be visible in most of the northern hemisphere). It is also the closest star system to Earth. It bears the proper name Rigil Kentaurus (often shortened to Rigil Kent), meaning "foot of the centaur" in Arabic,...