Skip to main content

Bright-Eyed Neighbor | Space Wallpaper

Proxima Centauri Hubble View
Shining brightly in this space wallpaper by the Hubble Space Telescope is our closest stellar neighbor: Proxima Centauri. Proxima Centauri lies in the constellation of Centaurus (the Centaur), just over four light-years from Earth. (Image credit: NASA/ESA)

Shining brightly in this space wallpaper by the Hubble Space Telescope is our closest stellar neighbor: Proxima Centauri. Proxima Centauri lies in the constellation of Centaurus (the Centaur), just over four light-years from Earth. Although it looks bright through the eye of Hubble, as you might expect from the nearest star to the solar system, Proxima Centauri is not visible to the naked eye. Its average luminosity is very low, and it is quite small compared to other stars, at only about an eighth of the mass of the Sun. However, on occasion, its brightness increases. Proxima is what is known as a "flare star," meaning that convection processes within the star's body make it prone to random and dramatic changes in brightness. This image was released Nov. 1, 2013.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

Space.com is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, Space.com is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox, focusing on e-commerce. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.