Proxima Centauri

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  12" ASA: RGB 12" ASA: RGB annotated 12" ASA: RGB - 500% crop    
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© Velimir Popov & Emil Ivanov 2014

Proxima Centauri (Latin proxima, meaning "next to" or "nearest to") is a red dwarf about 4.24 light-years from the Sun, inside the G-cloud, in the constellation of Centaurus. It was discovered in 1915 by Scottish astronomer Robert Innes, the Director of the Union Observatory in South Africa, and is the nearest known star to the Sun, although it is too faint to be seen with the naked eye, with an apparent magnitude of 11.05. Its distance to the second- and third-nearest stars, which form the bright binary Alpha Centauri, is 0.237 ± 0.011 ly (15,000 ± 700 AU).[15] Proxima Centauri is very likely part of a triple star system with Alpha Centauri A and B, but its orbital period may be greater than 500,000 years. Because of the proximity of this star, its distance from the Sun and angular diameter can be measured directly, from which it can be determined that its diameter is about one-seventh of that of the Sun. Proxima Centauri's mass is about an eighth of the Sun's, and its average density is about 40 times that of the Sun. Although it has a very low average luminosity, Proxima is a flare star that undergoes random dramatic increases in brightness because of magnetic activity. The star's magnetic field is created by convection throughout the stellar body, and the resulting flare activity generates a total X-ray emission similar to that produced by the Sun. The mixing of the fuel at Proxima Centauri's core through convection and the star's relatively low energy-production rate suggest that it will be a main-sequence star for another four trillion years, or nearly 300 times the current age of the universe. (Text adapted from Wikipedia).

Object details:

Right Ascension 14:29:43 (h:m:s)
Declination -62:40:46 (deg:m:s)
Distance 4.243 ± 0.002 (ly)
Apparent Magnitude 11.05

Image details


Center of field RA 14:29:34 (h:m:s)
Center of field DE -62:40:37 (deg:m:s)
Size 52.1 x 40.2 (arcmin)
Pixel scale: 1.03 (arcsec/pixel)
Orientation: Up is -1.36 degrees E of N
Charts and image details obtained from
Optic(s): ASA 12" f 3,6 Astrograph (ASA)
Mount: ASA DDM85
Camera: FLI MicroLine 8300 CCD camera
Filters: Red, Green, Blue, Astrodon
Dates/Times: 21 August 2014
Location: Namibia-TIVOLI ASTROFARM, S 23° 27' 40,9" / E 18° 01' 02,2"
Exp. Details: R:8x1min, G:8x1min, B:8x1min,, Bin 1
  Total Exposure Time - 24 min
More details: Dark and flat frames reduction,
Processing: PixInsight / PS
Copyright: Velimir Popov and Emil Ivanov 2014. All Rights Reserved
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