Im sure you’ve seen the post or heard the quote “when you wish upon a star, technically that star is a million light years away and it’s already dead, just like your dreams”
This is false. That star is not dead, it is not millions of light years away! the Milky Way galaxy is 100,000 light years across, so the oldest light reaching us from a star in our galaxy would be less than 100,000 years old (because we aren’t on the very edge). Stars live for millions and billions of years! Sure that supernova we viewed from another galaxy is from a star that had been dead for ages, but the stars you see at night are much closer and very much still burning brightly!
The light you are seeing of a star is old, but the star itself is not dead and neither are your dreams!
-this has been a slightly uplifting rant by janestreetdog (who is peeved by this misconception)
Stars, too, are time travelers. How many of those ancient points of light were the last echoes of suns now dead? How many had been born but their light not yet come this far? If all the suns but ours collapsed tonight, how many lifetimes would it take for us to realize that we were alone?
Ransom Riggs, ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’
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.