120 How Close are the Close-by Stars?

Line drawing illustrating distance from the Sun to Proxima Centaurai. Consider 4.29 miles from the Sun if Pluto is 40 inches from the Sun.
Images courtesy Mike Reynolds, Ph.D. of Florida State College at Jacksonville.

The closest star? The Sun . After the Sun is Proxima Centauri , part of the three-star Alpha Centauri (α Cen) star system. Proxima Centauri is about 25,219,301,250,000 miles or 40,586,533,727,000 kilometers away. So let’s look at this in other ways. A 50-mile high stack of toilet paper stretched out on 1 sheet = 1 million miles scale. Alpha Centauri is often listed as the second closest star to Earth, this is incorrect . Proxima Centauri is the second-closest star and orbits Alpha Centauri.


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