How astronomers measure brightness and use it to measure distances

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Published on February 5, 2023 by

Sometimes, how bright something is depends on how far it is from us. In this video, students will learn how astronomers measure brightness of stars using magnitude. Apparent magnitude defines how bright a star look from the Earth. A bright star has smaller magnitude than a dim star. Absolute magnitude defines the brightness that a star would have at ten parsecs from us. Apparent and absolute magnitude can help determine the distance of an object in space and map of our place in the universe.

This video satisfies the 5-ESS1-1 requirement of fifth-grade science proficiency.

Students who demonstrate understanding can: 5-ESS1-1 Support an argument that differences in the apparent brightness of the sun compared to other stars is due to their relative distances from Earth.

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