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Unformatted text preview: Absolute Magnitude and Luminosity Because the surface area is also in the luminosity relation, the luminosity of a bigger star is larger than a smaller star at the same temperature. You can use the relation to get another important characteristic of a star. If you measure the apparent brightness, temperature, and distance of a star, you can determine its size. The figure below illustrates the interdependence of measurable quantities with the derived values that have been discussed so far. In the left triangular relationship, the apparent brightness, distance, and luminosity are tied together such that if you know any two of the sides, you can derive the third side. For example, if you measure a glowing object's apparent brightness (how bright it appears from your location) and its distance (with trigonometric parallax), then you can derive the glowing object's luminosity. Or if you measure a glowing object's apparent brightness and you know the object's luminosity without knowing its distance, you can derive the distance...
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This note was uploaded on 12/15/2011 for the course AST AST1002 taught by Professor Emilyhoward during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.
 Fall '10
 EmilyHoward
 Astronomy

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