Bright-Eyed Neighbor | Space Wallpaper

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Proxima Centauri Hubble View

About this Image

Shining brightly in this space wallpaper by the Hubble Space Telescope is our closest stellar neighbor: Proxima Centauri. Proxima Centauri lies in the constellation of Centaurus (the Centaur), just over four light-years from Earth. Although it looks bright through the eye of Hubble, as you might expect from the nearest star to the solar system, Proxima Centauri is not visible to the naked eye. Its average luminosity is very low, and it is quite small compared to other stars, at only about an eighth of the mass of the Sun. However, on occasion, its brightness increases. Proxima is what is known as a "flare star," meaning that convection processes within the star's body make it prone to random and dramatic changes in brightness. This image was released Nov. 1, 2013.

Credit: NASA/ESA

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Space.com Staff
Space.com Staff,

Space.com is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. We transport our visitors across the solar system and beyond through accessible, comprehensive coverage of the latest news and discoveries. For us, exploring space is as much about the journey as it is the destination. 

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