Alpha Centauri, a system of three stars, one of whose membersProxima Centauriis the star nearest the sun. Proxima can be seen only with a telescope; the other two stars appear as a single, very bright star to the unaided eye. Alpha Centauri is slightly more than four light-years from the sun. It is in the constellation Centaurus.
Asteroid belts aren't quite the dense fields of gigantic spinning rocks that you may have seen in a "Star Wars" film, but they're still fascinating. In fact, the main asteroid belt may tell us how our entire solar system came into existence.
Sunspots are peculiar dark areas that show up regularly on the surface of the sun -- and often for no reason. What causes them? What effect could these funny little spots have on the Earth?