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Proxima Centauri: our not-so-nearby neighbor

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Shining brightly in this Hubble image is our closest stellar neighbour: Proxima Centauri.

Proxima Centauri is the closest star to planet earth. Close, however, is relative, as this red dwarf — the term used by astronomers to designate smaller, cooler stars — is still about 4.22 light-years away.

Even at the highest speed ever recorded by a man-made object (252,792 km/h), it would take a probe more than 18,000 years to reach Proxima Centauri. Bottom line: if you dream of interstellar travel, you’re going to need to be patient.

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