Proxima Centauri Facts
Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf, these stars have less than half the mass of our sun.
- At 4.2 light years away Proxima Centauri is the nearest star to the sun, but as it is so small and dim it cannot be viewed with the naked eye.
- The star can be found in the Centaurus constellation, a centaur is a Greek mythological half man half horse creature, proxima is Latin for next or nearest.
- The red dwarf Proxima Centauri is part of the three star Alpha Centauri system, the other two stars, Alpha Centauri A and B, are similar to our own sun.
- Proxima Centauri is extremely distant from its two companions, orbiting them at a distance of around 1.2 trillion miles (1.9 trillion km).
- Stars like our sun exist for a few billion years, red dwarfs like Proxima Centauri burn their fuel at a much lower rate and can therefore exist far longer.
- In August 2016 it was announced that an Earth sized planet had been discovered orbiting the habitable zone around Proxima Centauri, the planet named Proxima b could possibly have liquid water on its surface.
- Proxima b is the closest known planet outside our solar system.
- The star Proxima Centauri was discovered in 1915 by the Scottish born astronomer Robert Innes.
The red dwarf star Proxima Centauri can be seen in the center of this telescopic image.
Proxima Centauri RadiusProxima Centauri is a very small red dwarf with a radius of around 60,000 miles (97,000 km), which is around 14% the size of our sun.
Proxima Centauri MassProxima Centauri is estimated to have a mass of around 12% of that of the sun.
Proxima Centauri TemperatureProxima Centauri is estimated to have surface temperatures of around 3000C (5400F), around 55% as hot as the sun.
Proxima Centauri Luminosity (energy emitted)Red dwarfs emit far less energy than larger stars, its luminosity is less than one percent of that of our sun.
Proxima Centauri StatisticsAlso Known As: Alpha Centauri C
Distance From Earth: 4.2 light years
Star Type: Red Dwarf - M Class
Mass: 12% of the Sun
Luminosity: 0.17% of the Sun
Diameter: 120,000 miles (193,000 km) - 14% of the Sun
Temperature: Approx 3,000C (5,400F)
Age: Approx 5 billion years old
Rotation Period: 84 days