Alpha Centauri
Alpha and Beta Centauri
(Rigil Kentaurus)

Right above the Southern Cross the constellation »Centaur« is situated. Its two brightest stars, Alpha and Beta Cenaturi, are also known as »Pointers«, due to the fact that a connecting line through them will point to the upper end of the cross.

Alpha Centauri, the brighter of both, is the fourth-brightest star in the sky and therefore rather easy to find. With a distance of only 4.3 light-years it is also the closest to our solar system. Alpha Centauri is a multiple star-system. Using a telescope a total of 3 stars get visible, that rotate around each other: Alpha Centauri A, Alpha Centauri B and, in some distance, Proxima Centauri the closest but very dark star. The biggest of the three, Alpha Centauri A, by incident equals our sun in size and nature. Therefore planets are assumed in the system, which however could not be proven up to now.

Further to the centre of »Centaur« another spectacular object can be spotted. Omega Centauri is the largest and brightest globular cluster in the sky. It consists of several millions of stars and so is close to a dwarf galaxy.

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