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Rolf Olsen | all galleries >> Astrophotography >> Stars > Alpha Centauri
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Alpha Centauri

Alpha Centauri is the closest star apart from the Sun, and is located only 4.35 light years away. It is a triple star system with the two brightest components showing in this image as a doubling of the vertical spikes. They complete an orbit around each other in 80 years with an average separation of 23 times the distance from the Earth to the Sun. The third component is much further away and is a small dwarf star, Proxima Centauri, which is not visible in the image.
For a close up of the two components, have a look at this image where the two stars are resolved and an insert shows the relative size of Uranus' orbit.

OPTICS 10" Newtonian f/5.2
MOUNT Losmandy G11 equatorial
CAMERA Philips ToUCam Pro SC1 webcam
EXPOSURE Mosaic of 4 frames, 41 x 10 s
DATE/TIME 05/06/2006 09:16 UTC
LOCATION My backyard observatory in west Auckland, New Zealand

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