Strictly an outlying member of the Alpha Centauri or Rigil Kentaurus system, rather than an independent star, Proxima is a faint and inoffensive red dwarf. It is remarkable, though, as the Sun's
nearest stellar neighbour, just 4.24 light years away. The relative motions of the two
stars mean that Proxima and the Sun are actually getting closer together at a rate
of about 16,000 m/s.
If humans ever travel beyond the Solar System, this will surely be one of the first sights they
experience - the faint red-orange glow of the Sun's nearest neighbour,
Proxima Centauri, against the backdrop of the Milky Way.