As being humans we remain curious and want to learn more about the unknown. Space has always remained a center of focus for it carries charm in it. According to Stephen hawking, there is a star system quite nearest to our sun. Alpha Centauri is our neighboring star.
Distance from Earth
According to Milner, Alpha Centauri is 4 light years away from our sun and that makes around 25 trillion miles. It would take around 20 years to reach this system of stars if we move with 20% of the speed of light with our best technology. In order to travel a distance of 4.3 light years, the fuel needed for the chemical rockets of today, would be equivalent to all the stars in our Milky Way.
A Closer look at the System
If we take a look from the Earth, it seems as one star giving off light; but with a closer look at the system through a high resolution telescope, one can make out two points: one is Alpha Centauri A and the other is Alpha Centauri B. Both have equal mass and orbit each other at the distance at which Uranus orbits our Sun.
A Third star in the System
There is another star in this system, yet it is much closer to Earth and is termed as Proxima Centauri. It is much smaller in size than the other two stars. It is the nearest star outside the vicinity of our solar system. This star shines with a dimmer and fainter light and is approximately 1.5 times the size of Jupiter.
A Planet Orbiting Alpha Centauri B
Astronomers have found an unknown planet that is hosted by these three stars. That planet orbits the Alpha Centauri B which looks much like our sun. The mass of that planet seems equivalent to that of our Earth, yet researchers are of the view that its surface might be blazing with molten rock. It appears that some of the planets can orbit their stars at a distance which the scientists term as their “Habitable-zone”. This discovery of planet, Alpha Centauri Bb paved new avenues for discovering other undiscovered worlds and perhaps some are inhabited by life like our own planet.
This system has brought hope for astronomers that there could be planets revolving around other stars as well if they can manage to crack the planet orbiting Alpha Centauri B which is possible if the distinction between the twins Alpha Centauri could be made clearer. This could be the key to discovering new worlds and finding life in other systems like our solar system.