The 2nd closest star to the Sun

Which is the closest star to the Sun

By Robert JackPublished 2 years ago 5 min read

If someone asks which is the closest star to the Sun? I believe that if you are a lover of astronomy, you can immediately give the answer, and if not surprisingly, you can even say that the distance between this star and the Sun is about 4.22 light years, but if you ask which is the second closest star to the Sun? That's not easy to answer.

And if pressed again: What about the 3rd closest star to the Sun? You may even be asked: Do you know which are the 10 closest stars to the Sun? Then even fewer people may know. It's okay if you don't know, let's take a look at the 10 closest stars to the Sun.

Alpha Centauri (α Centauri)

The closest star to the Sun is, of course, Proxima Centauri, which we are all familiar with, so we won't introduce it here.

Proxima belongs to a triple system called Alpha Centauri, the other two stars are Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B "(α Centauri B), which form a binary system around which Proxima orbits from a distance of about 13,000 astronomical units.

Both "α Centauri A" and "α Centauri B" are stars about the same size as the Sun, the former being about 10% more massive and about 1.2 times the radius of the Sun, and the latter being about 90% of the Sun's mass and about 86% of the Sun's radius. 86%.

"The binary system of Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B is at a distance of about 4.37 light-years from the Sun, and the two stars will orbit each other, in the process becoming alternately the 2nd and 3rd closest stars to the Sun.

Barnard's Star

Barnard's Star is located in the constellation Serpens, about 5.96 light-years from the Sun, and is the 4th closest star to the Sun, with only about 15% of the Sun's mass and a radius of about one-fifth of the Sun's, making it a faint red dwarf.

According to astronomers' observations, Barnard's star is approaching the Sun at a speed of about 107 kilometers per second, and according to this trend, it will arrive at a distance of 3.85 light-years from the Sun in 11800 AD and replace Proxima as the closest star to the Sun, but this is only temporary because, after that, Barnard's star will go away from the Sun again.

Wolf 359 (Wolf 359)

Wolf 359 is also a red dwarf, with a lower mass than Barnard's star, about 9% of the Sun's, and a radius of about 16% of the Sun's. This star is located in Leo in the sky, at a distance of about 7.86 light years from the Sun, making it the 5th closest star to the Sun.

In contrast to Barnard's star, Wolf 359 is going away from the Sun, its speed away from the Sun is about 19 kilometers per second. Observations show that Wolf 359 has two planets, the one closer to the main star should be a super-Earth with a mass of at least 2.2 times the mass of the Earth, and the other planet is a giant planet with a maximum estimated mass of 73.4 times that of the Earth However, neither of these planets is located in the habitable zone.

Gliese 411 (Gliese 411)

Gliese 411, also known as Lalande 21185, is located in the sky in the constellation Ursa Major, about 8.31 light years from the Sun, and is the 6th closest star to the Sun. This star is still a red dwarf, although it is much more massive than the aforementioned Barnard's and Wolf 359, reaching 46% of the Sun's mass and a radius of about 39.2% of the Sun's radius.

Gliese 411 also has two planets, one with about 2.64 times the mass of the Earth, which would be a super-Earth, and another with about 14.2 times the mass of the Sun, which could be either a super-Earth or a mini-Neptune. These two planets are also not in the habitable zone, but astronomers suspect that there should be another rocky planet between their orbits and that this rocky planet is likely to be located in the habitable zone.

Sirius (Sirius)

Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky, and its popularity is comparable to that of Proxima, so we will briefly describe it here.

Sirius is usually referred to as Alpha Canis Majoris A, which is about twice the mass and 1.7 times the radius of the Sun and is a bright blue dwarf. "(α Canis Majoris B).

"Alpha Canis Majoris B is about 1.1 times the mass of the Sun, a dense white dwarf with a radius similar to that of the Earth. These two stars form a binary system about 8.6 light years from the Sun, and in their motion around each other, they alternate between being the 7th and 8th closest stars to the Sun.

Rutan 726-8 (Luyten 726-8)

Rutan 726-8 is located in the sky in the constellation Cetus, at a distance of about 8.73 light years from the Sun, and is actually a binary system consisting of "Rutan 726-8A" (Luyten 726-8A) and "Rutan 726-8B "((Luyten 726-8B), so they will also be alternately the 9th and 10th closest stars to the Sun.

The two stars that makeup Luyten 726-8 are both red dwarfs, and their masses and volumes are very close; they are both about 10.2% of the Sun's mass and both have radii about 14% of the Sun's. Based on known observations, astronomers speculate that Rutan 726-8 may have two giant planets (one about 10% more massive than Jupiter and the other about 40% more massive), although these two giant planets have not yet been confirmed.

These are the 10 closest stars to the Sun. It may seem that the Sun is in a "busy" region, but it is not.

There are 11 stars (including the Sun) in a sphere with a radius of 8.73 light-years centered on the Sun, and a simple calculation shows that there are only about 0.004 stars per cubic light-year in this sphere.

In contrast, the density of stars in the central part of the galaxy can reach 100 stars per cubic light year or more, and because of this, the region where the Sun is located is often called the "remote and inhospitable part of the galaxy", but for us humans, this is a good thing, because, in a dense region of stars, it is difficult for carbon-based life like us to survive for long. It is difficult for carbon-based life like ours to survive for long periods in a dense region of stars.

Science

About the Creator

Robert Jack

One of the secrets of emotional stability for adults is to keep the expectations of others to a minimum.

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Written by Robert Jack

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