Alpha Centauri, the brightest of the pointer stars, is high in the south. Though it is part of the nearest star system it is not the nearest star to Earth. That honour belongs to a faint, reddish and insignificant dwarf star called Proxima Centauri that is about four moon-widths below Alpha.
Alpha Centauri can be seen as a double star through a small telescope. The orbit of one of the two components around the other is shown here. Drawing courtesy Harry Roberts