Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Mass of Alpha Centauri
Name: Michael Geary
Status: Other
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 


Question:
What is the approximate mass of the star Alpha Centauri?



Replies:
I am 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 do not forget the books dealing with the topic of interest but which are outside the reference section of 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 Centau- ri), whose mass is only 0.1 solar mass. A solar mass, in turn, is 1.99 x 10^30 kg.

RC Winther


Click here to return to the Astronomy Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory