The nearest stars to Earth are in the Alpha Centauri triple-star system, in a distance of about 4.37 light-years. One of these stars, Proxima Centauri, is slightly closer than the other two stars from this triple system, it lies at a distance of 4.24 light-years.
Only nine of the stars in this area are bright enough to be seen from Earth by the naked human eye. These stars are Alpha Centauri A and B, Sirius A, Epsilon Eridani, Procyon, 61 Cygni A and B, Epsilon Indi A and Tau Ceti.
Some interesting info about some of these stars:
- Barnard’s Star, a red dwarf 5.96 light-years away, has the largest proper motion of any known star. This means that Barnard’s Star moves rapidly against the background of more distant stars, at a rate of 10.3 seconds of arc per Earth year.
- Sirius A is the brightest star in Earth’s night sky, due to its intrinsic brightness and its proximity to us. Sirius B, a white dwarf star, is smaller than Earth but has a mass 98 percent that of our sun.
- In late 2012, astronomers discovered that Tau Ceti may host five planets including one within the star’s habitable zone.
And look how many of these stars have confirmed exoplanets! Wow, it is not that little!
Credit: Karl Tate
Source and FULL resolution here:http://www.space.com/18964-the-nearest-stars-to-earth-infographic.html