It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Absolute Magnitude

page: 1

log in


posted on Sep, 26 2011 @ 01:16 AM
What does absolute magnitude mean
I looked it up and i get this answer...........
"The magnitude (brightness) of a celestial object as it would be seen at a standard distance of 10 parsecs."

So in stellarium the sun is 4 and elenin is 10.

What does this mean i have no idea. Could someone
explain it please.

And no im not a doomsdayer, im just trying to
learn something.

Thanks in Advance.

posted on Sep, 26 2011 @ 01:18 AM
4 is brighter than 10. Elenin is barely reflective, and has no light of it's own.

posted on Sep, 26 2011 @ 01:20 AM
Thanks mate for your help.
Much appreciated.

posted on Sep, 26 2011 @ 01:29 AM
You're welcome. Just remember that not all scientific scales go in the direction that makes most sense to you, and it becomes easier.

posted on Sep, 26 2011 @ 02:07 AM
look up order of magnitude and you'll get the picture.

posted on Sep, 26 2011 @ 02:24 AM

The absolute magnitude equals the apparent magnitude an object would have if it were at a standard luminosity distance (10 parsec) away from the observer,

The parsec (symbol: pc) is a unit of length used in astronomy. It is about 3.26 light-years,

Some of the brightest stars have a negative magnitude like sirius its -1.46
our sun is +4.8

Each step in magnitude is accompanied by a 2.51 times increase

A star with a magnitude of 1 is 100 times as bright as a star with a magnitude of 6, a star just visible to the naked eye

posted on Sep, 26 2011 @ 12:18 PM
Absolute magnitude is a measure of how bright an object is. It's a mathematical way of removing distance from the equation to figure out how bright something actually is, as opposed to how bright it seems to be based on distance. (like apparent magnitude)

For example, the sun, as everybody knows is massively bright. However, it's quite far away from earth, obviously. Imagine that you had a very bright light in your room. That light would seem to be brighter than the sun, but only because it's right up in your face. The absolute magnitude of the sun is higher than that of the light in your room, even though it seems dimmer because it is far away.

Another example would be some of the stars. There are stars that are thousands of times larger and brighter than the sun. However, they are so distant that they appear only as pinpricks of light in the night sky. The sun has a higher apparent magnitude than any star in the night sky, because it's so much closer.

The sun does not have a higher absolute magnitude than some of those stars. If you moved the sun and one of those massive stars so that they were both 10 parsecs away, the massive star would appear to be much brighter than the sun, because it's bigger.

I don't think there's any special meaning to them picking 10 parsecs as the number. They had to pick something as a reference point, and mathematically it doesn't really matter what they use. They probably just picked an easy to remember number. The number 10 is also easier in logarithmic calculations, and I think magnitude is measured in logarithmic scales, so that might be why they picked that number; easier math.

edit begins here:
Oh yeah, and with the sun being 4 and elenin being 10, a smaller number means that the object is brighter. The numbers can also go negative as well; such an object would be hundreds of times or more brighter than the sun.
edit on 26-9-2011 by DragonsDemesne because: (no reason given)


log in