Proxima Centauri, also known as Alpha Centauri C, was a star in the Alpha Centauri trinary system. It was the closest star to Sol, located just over four light years away from Sol. (TNG: "The Naked Now", "The Last Outpost", production art)
In early 2154, Earth's Proxima colony reported a Klingon warship in its vicinity. Admiral Maxwell Forrest believed that the Klingons were conducting reconnaissance scans for a future strike. (ENT: "Borderland")
Later that year, a Rigelian freighter departed Earth two hours after Doctor Phlox was abducted. According to a filed flight plan, the freighter's destination was Proxima colony. However, the trajectory of this freighter wouldn't take it anywhere near the colony. Upon coming to this conclusion, Captain Archer cancelled shore leave. Soon afterwards, his ship, the Enterprise, was in pursuit of the freighter. (ENT: "Affliction")
In 2364, the location of Proxima Centauri was labeled in a star chart of a stellar neighborhood with Sol at the center. This chart was stored in the USS Enterprise-D library computer. Later that year, the chart was scanned by Outpost 63. (TNG: "The Naked Now", "The Last Outpost", production art)
In the 24th century, Proxima Centauri was home to Starfleet's Proxima Maintenance Yards. Under the command of Admiral Drazman in 2371, Commander Benjamin Sisko, Doctor Julian Bashir and Lt. Jadzia Dax planned to visit the Yards in that year. (DS9: "Past Tense, Part I"). The Proxima colony was, also, home to the Proxima Centauri Interplanetary Bowling League. (TNG: "The Schizoid Man", set artwork)
|Alpha Centauri system|
|Alpha Centauri A • Alpha Centauri B • Proxima Centauri|
Apparently in an early draft of TOS: "Wolf in the Fold", a Human colony established before 2156 was referenced as Alpha Proxima II, possibly intended as a planet in this system. The name was later replaced as Alpha Eridani II in the final episode. The Alpha Proxima II name however survived in such reference sources as Star Trek Maps, Star Trek Concordance, the entry on Startrek.com, and Star Trek Encyclopedia (3rd ed., p. 8)
The chart naming stars within 20 light years of Sol was drawn by Rick Sternbach for the Star Trek Spaceflight Chronology (p. 77) in the late 1970s. This chart showed Earth commercial and exploration routes after the use of warp drive began. There were no commercial or exploration routes to Alpha Centauri C.
According to the Star Trek: Star Charts (pp. 19, 45, & 56) and the Stellar Cartography: The Starfleet Reference Library' ("Federation Historical Highlights, 2161-2385"), the Proxima Centauri system, consisting of Alpha Centauri C (a M-class star), was located in the Alpha Centauri sector (Sector 002), a region of space in the Beta Quadrant. In 2120, Zefram Cochrane departed from the Alpha Centauri system on his final voyage. In the 22nd century, this system was a stop on the Earth trade routes and traded with Earth and Vulcan.
According to the Stellar Cartography: The Starfleet Reference Library ("Federation Historical Highlights, 2161-2385"), Proxima (Alpha Centauri IV, Velestus) was an inhabited planet in this system. This planet had two moons, named Nykos and Tharon. The Proxima colony was founded on this planet in 2085. In 2161, this planet was a founding member of the UFP. In the late 24th century, the capitals of this world were Cochrane and Tarola'n. The primary species of this planet was Human, with a population of 380 million.
In a real-world corollary to Star Trek's depictions, the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting Proxima Centauri, named Proxima Centauri b (lower case letters used by Earth cosmologists in the early 21st century for planets orbiting a star) was announced in August 2016, by the European Southern Observatory from one of their South American observatories, by a team led by Guillem Anglada-Escudé.