Today’s post introduces star family of the Alpha Centauri system (part of the constellation Centaurus, including the stars Alpha Centauri, Beta Centauri, and Proxima Centauri). At only 4.2 light years away, the dimmest of the three, Proxima Centauri is the closest star – after our Sun – to Earth, followed by Alpha Centauri at 4.3 light years, fourth brightest star in the nightsky, which forms a binary system with Beta Centauri.
Alpha and Beta Centauri, also known as ‘the Pointers’, are visible all year round from the Southern Hemisphere, and the constellation they point to, Crux (the Southern Cross) appears on the Australian flag. Alpha Centauri has also been called Rigel Kentaurus (the foot of the Centaur, being the right-hand hoof) and Toliman, from Arabic for ‘the ostriches’.
The galactic memory signified…
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