Concept# Alpha Centauri

Summary

Alpha Centauri (α Centauri, Alpha Cen, or α Cen) is a triple star system in the southern constellation of Centaurus. It consists of three stars: Rigil Kentaurus (Alpha Centauri A), Toliman (B) and Proxima Centauri (C). Proxima Centauri is also the closest star to the Sun at 4.2465 light-years (1.3020 pc).
Alpha Centauri A and B are Sun-like stars (Class G and K, respectively), and together they form the binary star system Alpha Centauri AB. To the naked eye, the two main components appear to be a single star with an apparent magnitude of −0.27. It is the brightest star in the constellation and the third-brightest in the night sky, outshone only by Sirius and Canopus.
Alpha Centauri A has 1.1 times the mass and 1.5 times the luminosity of the Sun, while Alpha Centauri B is smaller and cooler, at 0.9 times the Sun's mass and less than 0.5 times its luminosity. The pair orbit around a common centre with an orbital period of 79 years. The

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We present constraints on neutrino masses, the primordial fluctuation spectrum from inflation, and other parameters of the ACDM model, using the one-dimensional Ly alpha-forest power spectrum measured by [1] from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-III), complemented by Planck 2015 cosmic microwave background (CMB) data and other cosmological probes. This paper improves on the previous analysis by [2] by using a more powerful set of calibrating hydrodynamical simulations that reduces uncertainties associated with resolution and box size, by adopting a more flexible set of nuisance parameters for describing the evolution of the intergalactic medium, by including additional freedom to account for systematic uncertainties, and by using Planck 2015 constraints in place of Planck 2013. Fitting Ly alpha data alone leads to cosmological parameters in excellent agreement with the values derived independently from CMB data, except for a weak tension on the scalar index n(s). Combining BOSS Ly alpha with Planck CMB constrains the sum of neutrino masses to Sigma m(nu) < 0.12 eV (95% C.L.) including all identified systematic uncertainties, tighter than our previous limit (0.15 eV) and more robust. Adding Ly alpha data to CMB data reduces the uncertainties on the optical depth to reionization tau, through the correlation of tau with sigma(8). Similarly, correlations between cosmological parameters help in constraining the tensor-toscalar ratio of primordial fluctuations r. The tension on n(s) can be accommodated by allowing for a running dn(s)/d In k. Allowing running as a free parameter in the fits does not change the limit on Sigma m(nu). We discuss possible interpretations of these results in the context of slow-roll inflation.

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