WHEN the star Proxima Centauri was discovered by Innés to have a parallax of 0-88”, he realised that this value implied that it is the closest star to the solar system, and gave the star its present name. The nearest competitor is Centauri, which has a parallax of 0-76”. Subsequent measurements, however, have failed to confirm Inné's value of the parallax of Proxima, and in Schlesinger's Catalogue a weighted mean value of 0-802″±0-050″ is given. This still makes Proxima nearer to us than Centauri; but the parallax has recently been determined both at the Yale Observatory at Johannesburg and at the Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope, the results being 0.783″ and 0-758″ respectively. The name given to Proxima is accordingly seen to be in grave danger of losing its justification, and it appears possible that Î± Centauri is after all the closest neighbour of the solar system in space.
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Our Nearest Neighbour. Nature 134, 1003–1004 (1934). https://doi.org/10.1038/1341003e0