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Alpha Centauri

noun
1.
Astronomy. a triple-star system that is the brightest celestial object in the constellation Centaurus.
Also called Rigel Kentaurus.
Origin of Alpha Centauri
< New Latin: Alpha of Centaurus
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Alpha Centauri
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • According to this notation, Alpha Centauri is spoken of as being about four and a quarter light years distant from us.

    Astronomy of To-day Cecil G. Dolmage
  • Took his finger off the button and there we were: Alpha Centauri.

    Accidental Death Peter Baily
  • "Perhaps you don't know enough about the new system in Alpha Centauri," he said, a trifle wildly.

    The Most Sentimental Man Evelyn E. Smith
  • The Valhalla was on the return leg of a journey to Alpha Centauri.

    Starman's Quest Robert Silverberg
  • In Alpha Centauri, on the other hand, the two components are of almost the same magnitude.

    Climatic Changes Ellsworth Huntington
  • We have drawn attention to Alpha Centauri as the nearest of the stars.

    Astronomy of To-day Cecil G. Dolmage
  • The distances that separate the stars from each other probably average as great as the distance from the sun to Alpha Centauri.

    Astronomy for Young Folks Isabel Martin Lewis
  • The two nearest fixed stars are Alpha Centauri and 61 Cygni.

    Man's Place in the Universe Alfred R. Wallace
  • Alpha Centauri, then, is four and one-third light-years distant, and 61 Cygni seven and one-fifth light-years away.

    Astronomy David Todd
Alpha Centauri in Science
Alpha Centauri
  (āl'fə sěn-tôr'ē)   
A triple star system in the constellation Centaurus that is the third brightest star in the night sky, with an apparent magnitude of -0.27, and the star nearest to Earth, at a distance of about 4.2 light-years. The two brighter stars, Alpha Centauri A and B, form a binary star system, which is orbited by Proxima Centauri, a smaller, dimmer star.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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