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Name: michael geary
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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.

RC Winther

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