Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf star located in the constellation Centaurus, approximately 4.2 light-years from Earth. It is the nearest known star to the Sun and is part of a three-star system known as the Alpha Centauri system, which also includes Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B. Proxima Centauri is a small, cool star, with a mass only about an eighth of the Sun’s and a surface temperature of around 3,000 kelvin. Despite its dimness, it is the most common type of star in the Milky Way galaxy.
Proxima Centauri was discovered in 1915 by the Scottish astronomer Robert Innes, and its proximity to Earth has made it a popular target for study. In 2016, an Earth-sized exoplanet called Proxima Centauri b was discovered orbiting the star, raising the possibility that it could harbor conditions suitable for life. The star has also been the subject of speculation and scientific investigation due to its potential as a destination for interstellar travel.