The Nearby Stars Page

 

Astronomy Web Sites

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There are a number of stars fairly close to our own solar system although they are not all like our Sun in size or temperature.  They vary in spectral type, mass, surface temperature and distance from us.  Below is a listing of the 15 closest stars listed in order of increasing distance from our solar system including a mention of planets that have been discovered orbiting them.

 

1. Alpha Centauri star system - a three star system located about 4.3 light-years from our system with Proxima Centauri being the closest at 4.24 light-years away.  Alpha Centauri A is a yellow star spectral class G2 like our Sun and Alpha Centauri B is an orange K2 star.  Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf or spectral class M star and has one planet known to orbit it.  For more information on these stars, visit the Space.com website.

2. Barnard's Star - a red dwarf  M3.8V star located at 5.96 light-years from Earth in the Constellation Ophiuchus, the Serpent Holder.  More information about Barnard's star may be found on the Sol Station website.

3. Wolf 359 - a red dwarf M5.8Ve star located at 7.8 light-years from Earth in the Constellation Leo.  More information about the star Wolf 359 may be found on the Sol Station website.

4. Lalande 21185 - a dim red dwarf  M2.1Vne star located at 8.3 light-years from Earth in the Constellation Ursa Major.  For more information about Lalande, go to the Sol Station website.

5. Sirius - this is a two star or binary system located at 8.6 light-years from Earth in the Constellation Canis Major.  The brighter of the two stars, Sirius A, is a spectral class A0-1 Vm while its companion is a white dwarf star of spectral class DA2-5 VII.  For more information on the Sirius star system, go to the Sol Station website.

6. Luyten 726-8 AB - this is a binary system consisting of two red dwarf stars, Luyten A of spectral class M2.5V and Luyten B M5.8Ve.  This system is located about 8.7 light-years from Earth in the Constellation Cetus, the Whale.  For more information on this binary system, go to the Sol Station website.

7. Ross 154 - this red dwarf star of spectral type M3.5Ve is located about 9.7 light-years away from Earth in the Constellation Sagittarius, the Archer.  For more information about this red dwarf, go to the Sol Station website.

8. Ross 248 - this is a red dwarf star of spectral type M5.5 and is located about 10.3 light-years away from Earth in the Constellation Andromeda, the Chained Maiden.  For more information about this red dwarf, go to the Sol Station website.

9. Epsilon Eridani - this star is an orange-red dwarf of spectral type K2 V.  It is a fairly young star that may be between 500 million to 1 billion years old.  This star is located about 10.5 light-years from Earth in the Constellation Eridanus, the River.  Astronomers believe that this star may have at least three planets of significant mass,  For more information about this young star, visit the Sol Station website.

10. Lacaille 9352 - a dim red dwarf star of spectral type M1.5 Ve but has been classed as a orange MO.5.  This star is located about 10.7 light-years from Earth in the Costellation Piscis Australis, the Southern Fish.  For more information on this star, go to the Sol Station website.

11. Ross 128 - a dim red dwarf star of spectral type M4.1 Vn is located about 10.9 light-years away from Earth in the Constellation Virgo, the Maiden.  One strange thing about this star - in April and May 2017, researchers at Arecibo Observatory detected strange radio signals coming from it.  You may read more about this on the Newsweek.com website.  One planet has been discovered orbiting this star.  Read more about it on the National Geographic website. For more general information on Ross 128, go to the      Sol Station website.

12. EZ Aquarii 3 - this is a triple star system made up of red dwarf stars located about 11.1 light-years from Earth in the Constellation Aquarius, the Water Bearer.  EZ Aquarii A is a main sequence red dwarf of spectral type M5.0-5.5 Ve.  Aquarii B & C are both probable M-type dwarf stars.  For more information on this star system, go to the Sol Station website. 

13. Procyon System - this is a binary star system located about 11.4 light-years from Earth in the Constellation Canis Minor, the Smaller Dog.  The larger of the two stars, Procyon A is a white-yellow star of spectral type F5 IV-V.  Procyon B, the companion star, is a white dwarf of spectral type DQZ,A4.  To read more about the Procyon star system, go to the Sol Station website.

14. Cygni 2 - a binary system consisting of two orange-red main sequence dwarf stars located about 11.4 light-years from Earth in the Constellation Cygnus, the Swan.  The Cygni A star is of spectral type K3.5-5.0 Ve and Cygni B is of spectral type K4.7-7.0 Ve.   To learn more about this star system, go to the Sol Station website. 

15. Struve 2398 AB - this is  binary system believed to consist of two dim red dwarf stars located about 11.4 light-years from Earth in the Constallation Draco, the Dragon.  The star Struve A is listed as a red dwarf star of spectral type M3.0 V although in some places it is classified as an orange K5 star.  Struve B is also listed here as a red dwarf star that is of spectral type M3.5V and as Struve A is in some places  classified as an orange K5 star.   For more information on this star system, visit the Sol Station website.

 

Other Stars of Note

1. Tau Ceti - this star is a yellow-orange dwarf of spectral type G8 Vp located about 11.9 light-years from Earth in the Constellation Cetus, the Whale.  On December 9, 2012, astronomers announced the possible detection of 5 planets orbiting Tau Ceti.   On August 9, 2017, a news story on the Keck Observatory website reports that astronomers believe they have detected 4 Earth-sized planets orbiting Tau Ceti.  For more information on this star, go to the Sol Station website.   

 

2. Groombridge 1618 - this is a star that is located about 15.9 light-years from Earth in the Constellation Ursa Major, the Great Bear.  Groombridge 1618 is an orange-red star that is of spectral type K7 Vne and is about two-thirds of our Sun's mass.  To learn more about this star, visit the Sol Station website.

 

3. Trappist 1 - this is an extremely cool red dwarf star located 39.5 light-years from Earth in the Constellation Aquarius.  Trappist 1 is of spectral type M8V and is slightly larger than the planet Jupiter but much more massive.  Astronomers have found 7 planets orbiting this star.  Information on the orbiting planets may be found on the Trappist 1 website.  To learn more about the Trappist 1 star, go to the Wikipedia website.