Alpha Centauri, the brightest star in the Centaurus constellation, is a binary star system several light years away from Sol and one of the most popular settings for various sci-fi scenarios. As it is a binary system, there are two suns in it, designated Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B, but a third star called Proxima Centauri has been confirmed to be part of the system due to the fact that it orbits the main pair every few million years. Also a planet called Proxima Centauri b has recently been discovered orbiting Proxima Centauri and is in the habitable zone and so could harbour life.
Role in Science FictionEdit
- In the 2009 film James Cameron's film Avatar, the story is set at a lucrative mining operation on Pandora, a jungle world orbiting the gas giant Polyphemus, which is sometimes considered a throwback to the Forest Moon of Endor from Return of the Jedi.
- In Star Control II and project 6014 the Alpha Centuari system was originally called Betelguese prior to the 2120s before Chenjesu star maps were used.
- An earthlike planet named Alpha Prime located in the Alpha Centauri system was planned to be colonized by the Robinson family in Lost in Space.
- Cybertron was said to have originally orbited Alpha Centauri, but an aftereffect of the great wars knocked it out of orbit, becoming a rogue planet.
- In the 1991 game Sid Meier's Civilization and all of its sequels, a civilization may achieve a "Space Race" victory by launching a ship to Alpha Centauri. The spiritual sequel to this, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, takes place within the Alpha Centauri system on an alien world simply referred to as Planet.
- Prior to destroying the Earth, the Vogons had the documents concerning the planned demolition of the planet and construction of a hyperspace highway in that area of space publicly displayed on Alpha Centauri. Humanity's later complaints that they had no access because they had never been to Alpha Centauri weren't taken in consideration.
- In Doctor Who, the system is home to an intelligent cyclopean species which are members of a Galactic Federation.
- The Fithp from Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's novel Footfall originate on this system.
- Hostile carnivorous vegetable creatures inhabit Proxima Centauri in Murray Leinster short story aptly titled Proxima Centauri.
- In Babylon 5 there is a notable colony at Proxima III.