The brightness of celestial objects is expressed in magnitudes with each magnitude change equal to the 5th root of 100 or about 2.5119. Also, the brighter an object the smaller the magnitude. That is to say, a first magnitude object is 100 times brighter than an object of sixth magnitude. Some extremely bright objects (the Sun, the Moon, Venus, Sirius and others) have negative magnitudes. A magnitude of -4 is 10,000 times brighter than magnitude 6.|
1) The Sun has a magnitude of -26.72 and the Moon's magnitude is -12.6. How much of a brightness difference is this?
Putting -26.72 and -12.6 into the appropriate boxes and then clicking on CALCULATE shows that this is a magnitude difference of 14.12 and a brightness difference of 444,630.
2) The apparent magnitude of the star Sirius is -1.46 and is at a distance of 9.0 light years. What is its absolute magnitude?
Putting these numbers into the calculator we find that Sirius has an absolute magnitude of 1.33.
LUMINOSITY is a comparison of a star's intrinsic brightness compared to the Sun (where Sun's luminosity = 1). Therefore Sirius is about 25 times brighter than the Sun. Do you want to solve for:
The default setting is for 5 significant figures but you can change that
by inputting another number in the box above.|
Answers are displayed in scientific notation and for easier readability, numbers between .001 and 1,000 will be displayed in standard format (with the same number of significant figures.)
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