Mass of Alpha Centauri
Name: michael geary
Date: 1993 - 1999
We need information for our research project. What is the approximate mass of
the star Alpha Centauri? Thank you.
I'm a little reluctant to answer this one. Part of the purpose of a
research project is to develop skills for searching out information. I tried the
major encyclopedias, and my almanac, without success; but don't forget the books
dealing with the topic of interest but which are outside the reference section o f the library.
My source is the astronomy text "Astronomy: the Cosmic Journey" by Wm. Hartmann.
The star system Alpha Centauri actually consists of three stars: A, whose mass
is 1.1 solar masses; B, whose mass is 0.9 solar mass; and C (also called Proxima
Centauri), whose mass is only 0.1 solar mass. A solar mass, in turn, is 1.99 x 1 0^30 kg.
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Update: June 2012