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Thread: Measuring the Distance to Stars

  1. #1 Measuring the Distance to Stars 
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2018

    I'm in high school an doing a project. I want to calculate the distance to stars using their luminosity and apparent brightness, from the equation b=L/4πd^2. I have found values for luminosity and apparent magnitude from the Hipparcos dataset. However, I cannot find how to convert these values of apparent magnitude to apparent brightness anywhere. I need the values to be in W/m^2 for the equation to work. Is there a way to do this? Is my idea completely wrong? Is there another way I can calculate the distance to stars using a database? Any guidance you can give me will be greatly appreciated!
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Janus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Portland, OR
    Luminosity (L) and absolute magnitude(M) are related by
    log L = 1.940-.4M

    Absolute magnitude and apparent magnitude(m) are related by

    M = m+5- 5 log D
    where D is measured in parsecs or

    M = m + 7.766 - 5 log D

    if D is measured in light years
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