Table of the Earth's Nearest Stars

distancestarmagnitude spectral classascensiondeclination
.000016 lyThe Sun-26.9G2.-23 to +23
4.2 lyProxima Centauri .11.3M5e14:30-62:41
4.3 lyAlpha Centauri A .33G014:40-60:50
4.3 lyAlpha Centauri B 1.70K514:40-60:50
5.96 lyBarnard's Star9.5M517:58+04:34
7.6 lyWolf 35913.5M6e10:56+07:01
8.11 lyLalande 211857.5M211:03+35:58
8.7 lyAlpha Sirius-1.47A006:45-16:43
8.7 lyBeta Sirius8.3white dwarf .06:45-16:43
8.93 lyA Luyten 726-812.5M6e01:39-17:57
8.93 lyB Luyten 726-813M6e01:39-17:57
9.4 lyRoss 15410.5dM3.5 V18:50-23:50
10.3 lyRoss 24812.2M6e23:42+44:10
10.7 lyEpsilon Eridani3.7K203:33-09:28
10.8 lyLuyten 789-612.6M622:38-15:19
10.8 lyRoss 12811.1M411:48+00:48
11.1 lyAlpha 61 Cygni5.6K521:07+38:45
11.1 lyBeta 61 Cygni6.3K621:07+38:45
11.3 lyEpsilon Indi4.7K522:03-56:47
11.4 lyAlpha Procyon0.38F507:39+05:13
11.4 lyBeta Procyon10.7white dwarf07:39+05:13
11.6 lySigma 23989m418:43+59:38
A light year is the distance light travels in a year: 5,880,500,000,000 miles or 9 463 700 000 000 kilometers. Distances to stars are difficult to measure accurately. There are a dozen stars at distances of 11-12 light years.

Magnitude is the measure of apparent brightness as seen from earth, the larger the number the dimmer the star appears. A decrease of 1 in magnitude means the star appears two-and-a-half times as bright. A decrease of 2.5 in magnitude means the star appears 10 times as bright. Many stars have variable brightness. Stars with magnitudes beyond 6 are difficult to see without binoculars or a telescope.

The spectral class of a star attempts to determine its temperature, mass and size from its color and brightness. Most of these stars belong to the "main sequence" of star types.

Hours and minutes of right ascension are measured clockwise around Polaris, starting with the sun's position at the vernal equinox. One rotation = 24 hours. One hour = 60 minutes. The pointer stars of the big dipper are at 11 hours, Cassiopeia (the big W) is about 0 hours.

Declination (latitude) is measured in degrees and minutes of angle north (positive) and south (negative) from the equator. The declination of the north star, Polaris, is almost +90 degrees. One minute of right ascension is fifteen times as great an angle as one minute of declination.

The values given for ascension and declination are for January 2000. Stars move and the earth's axis precesses (wobbles), so these values will change slowly with time.

Table of Main-Sequence Star Data
3-D Model of the Closest Stars
Scale Model of the Solar System
The Gordon Speer Home Page
Updated July 15, 2009
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