Adirondack Sky Center
Tupper Lake, New York
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Astro Quiz 29: Closest Star to Earth?

Question #29 – Not including the Sun, what is the closest star to Earth?

Answer:

Proxima Centauri is the closest star to the Earth other than the Sun. It is 4.2 light-years away - that's 24.9 trillion miles! That means that if you could travel at the speed of light, it would take you 4.2 years to get to this star!

Proxima Centauri is located in the constellation Centaurus, the Centaur, and is actually the dimmest star in a three-star system. The other two, brighter stars are named Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B. The stars of Centaurus are too far south to be seen from Tupper Lake.

More information about Proxima Centauri can be found on this Wikipedia page.


Proxima Centauri, as seen from the Hubble Space Telescope
Photo credit: ESA/Hubble

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