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Alpha Centauri

Unveiling the Secrets of Our Nearest Stellar Neighbor

  • Martin Beech

Part of the Astronomers' Universe book series (ASTRONOM)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. Martin Beech
    Pages 1-67
  3. Martin Beech
    Pages 167-267
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 269-297

About this book

Introduction

As our closest stellar companion and composed of two Sun-like stars and a third small dwarf star, Alpha Centauri is an ideal testing ground of astrophysical models and has played a central role in the history and development of modern astronomy—from the first guesses at stellar distances to understanding how our own star, the Sun, might have evolved. It is also the host of the nearest known exoplanet, an ultra-hot, Earth-like planet recently discovered.

Just 4.4 light years away Alpha Centauri is also the most obvious target for humanity’s first directed interstellar space probe. Such a mission could reveal the small-scale structure of a new planetary system and also represent the first step in what must surely be humanity’s greatest future adventure—exploration of the Milky Way Galaxy itself.

For all of its closeness, α Centauri continues to tantalize astronomers with many unresolved mysteries, such as how did it form, how many planets does it contain and where are they, and how might we view its extensive panorama directly?

In this book we move from the study of individual stars to the study of our Solar System and our nearby galactic neighborhood. On the way we will review the rapidly developing fields of exoplanet formation and detection.

Keywords

Exoplanet Detection Exoplanet Formation Exploration of Nearby Stars Interstellar Space Probes Near-by Planetary Systems Planet Formation Solar Neighborhood Solar System Formation Star Structure and Evolution Sun-like Stars

Authors and affiliations

  • Martin Beech
    • 1
  1. 1.Campion College, The University of ReginaReginaCanada

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-09372-7
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-09371-0
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-09372-7
  • Series Print ISSN 1614-659X
  • Series Online ISSN 2197-6651
  • Buy this book on publisher's site