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Alpha+Beta Centauri: These two bright stars have a special significance for star watchers of the Southern Sky. They are also called the "Pointers" since they point into the direction of the Southern Cross.
Alpha Centauri, also called Rigel Centaurus, in the upper right corner actually is a binary star of somewhat the same size and spectral class as our sun (G2V). It is also one of the closest stars to the sun with a distance of 4.4 LY.
Beta Centauri, also called Agena, in the lower left corner is a blue star in a distance of approx. 550 LY and about 2000 times brighter than our sun.

Have also a look at the Hi-Res version to study the beautiful dense starfield with various Open Clusters between the two stars.



Object Alpha+Beta Centauri
Category Binary and Multiple Stars
Designation Alpha+Beta Centauri
Constellation Centaurus
Optics Takahashi FSQ 106 ED f/5 x 0.73 Reducer
Mount Astro-Physics 900 GTO
Camera SBIG STL 11000M with internal CFW 5
Exposure 6x5min each Baader RGB filterset. Maxim DL for image acquisition
Calibration Dark + Flat Frame
Guiding StarlightXpress Lodestar and Skywatcher ED 80 as Guide Scope, Maxim DL as Guiding Software
Processing Maxim DL5, CCDStack, Photoshop. Color Code RGB
Location-Date Somerset West, South Africa - 25 Feb 2011
 
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