Difference Between Absolute Magnitude and Apparent Magnitude
Main difference
The main difference between Absolute Magnitude and Apparent Magnitude is that Absolute Magnitude is the estimate of the star’s brightness from 10 parsecs or 32.58 light-years away, while Apparent Magnitude is the estimate of the star’s brightness from the Earth’s distance and what a star
Absolute Magnitude vs. Apparent Magnitude
The estimate of a star’s luminance, which can be stated as the star’s brightness level, when viewed from a distance of 10 parsecs (2.58 light-years) is known as the absolute magnitude; On the other hand, the estimate of the luminosity of a star from the distance of the earth, when viewed, is known as the apparent magnitude.
The inherent brightness of the star that is naturally embodied is associated with the absolute magnitude; on the other hand, the state of flux density (energy) through the star is associated with the apparent magnitude.
The measure of the absolute magnitude of an astronomical body is ten parsecs (32.58 light years) in the absence of any possible cause that could restrict the brightness. On the other side of the coin, the measurement of the apparent magnitude of an astronomical body (star) does not involve the interpretation of the distance of a star from the earth. Still, it can be seen simply from any point, either with a telescope or with the naked eye.
The calculation for estimating the absolute magnitude of a star is done using the known value of the distance; on the other hand, the apparent magnitude is measured by the distance of the star from any point. In this magnitude-distance formula, where distance = d in parsec units, absolute magnitude = Mv, (mv-Mv) = distance modulus of star; on the opposite side, apparent magnitude = mv. The equation is mv – Mv = – 5 + 5 log10 (d). So the absolute magnitude symbol is ‘Mv’; on the other hand, the symbol for apparent magnitude is ‘mv’.
Comparison chart
absolute magnitude | apparent magnitude |
It is the estimate of the star’s brightness from 10 parsecs or 32.58 light-years away. | It is the estimate of the brightness of the star from the distance of the earth and that star. |
Measurement | |
The brightness of a star is measured from a standard distance. | The brightness of a star is measured from the distance of any point. |
Distance | |
Observed from 10 parsecs (2.58 light years) | Observed from the distance of the earth |
Nature of Magnitude | |
The intrinsic luminosity of a star | energy flow of a star |
Symbol | |
mw | mv |
sun magnitude | |
4.8 | -26.93 |
What is absolute magnitude?
Absolute magnitude in physical terms is a measure of the star’s luminosity, which here refers to the star’s brightness when viewed at a distance of 10 parsecs or a light-year value of 32.58. The measure of the absolute magnitude of an astronomical body is ten parsecs (32.58 light years) in the absence of any possible cause that could limit illumination. The absolute magnitudes of the bright stars are Sirius 1.45, Arcturus -0.31, Vega 0.58, Spica -3.55, Barnard’s Star 13.24, and Proxima Centauri 15.45.
The equation is mv – Mv = – 5 + 5 log10 (d). So the symbol for the representation of absolute magnitude is ‘Mv’. The nature of the absolute magnitude is the intrinsic luminosity of a star. According to the Hipparchian scale, the absolute magnitude of the sun is 4.83. The calculation for the measurement of the absolute magnitude of the brightness of a star is done using the standard value of the distance. The intrinsic brightness of the star that is naturally integral is related to the absolute magnitude. It means that the absolute magnitude is the natural brightness of the star.
According to the magnitude-distance formula, where distance = d in parsec units, the absolute magnitude is equal to Mv, (mv-Mv), which is equal to the distance modulus of the star. The measurement of the star’s brightness, which can be as brief as the star’s brightness level, when measured from a distance of 10 parsecs (2.58 light-years), is called the absolute magnitude. This measurement of the brightness of a star can be achieved with the help of the telescope, and the naked eye cannot measure this natural luminosity.
What is apparent magnitude?
The apparent magnitude in physics terms is a measure of the brightness of the star that the star is. The luminosity is when you measure the distance from eath to that bright star. The apparent magnitude of these stars is Vega 0.03, Sirius -1.44, Arcturus -0.05, Vega 0.03, Spica 0.98, Barnard’s Star 9.54, and Proxima Centauri 11.01. The equation is mv – Mv = – 5 + 5 log10 (d). So the symbol for the apparent magnitude representation is ‘mv’.
According to the magnitude-distance formula, the apparent magnitude is equal to mv. The flux density (energy) state of the star is related to the apparent magnitude. The measure of a star’s luminosity from the distance from Earth to that measured star, when viewed, is called the apparent magnitude. The calculation of the apparent magnitude of an astronomical body (star) does not include the elucidation of the distance of a star from the earth. Still, it can be easily measured from any point with the help of a telescope or with the naked eye.
However, an apparent magnitude can be measured by the star’s distance from any point. The main point of contention for apparent magnitude may be related to the brightness of a star. This apparent magnitude is not the intrinsic property of a star, but can be measured in relation to the distance from Earth with the help of the telescope.
Key differences
- Known star absolute magnitudes are Sirius 1.45, Arcturus -0.31, Vega 0.58, Spica -3.55, Barnard’s Star 24, and Proxima Centauri 15.45; on the other hand, the apparent magnitude of these stars is Vega 0.03, Sirius -1.44, Arcturus -0.05, Vega 0.03, Spica 0.98, Barnard’s Star 9.54, and Proxima Centauri 11.01.
- According to the Hipparchian scale, the sun has 4.83 absolute magnitudes; on the other hand, the sun is -26, the moon is -11, and Venus has an apparent magnitude of -3.
- The symbol used to represent absolute magnitude is Mv; on the opposite side, the symbol used to represent the apparent magnitude is mv.
- In absolute magnitude, the brightness of a star is measured from a standard distant point; on the opposite side, in apparent magnitude, the brightness of a star is measured from the distance of any point.
- The nature of absolute magnitude is the intrinsic luminosity of a star; on the other hand, the nature of the apparent magnitude is the energy flow of the star.
- Absolute magnitude is the measure of the brightness of stars from 10 parsecs or 32.58 light years; on the other hand, the apparent magnitude is the measure of the brightness of the star from the distance from the Earth to that star.
- The natural brightness of the star is mainly associated with the absolute magnitude; on the other hand, the density of the star’s flux state is associated with the apparent magnitude.
- According to the magnitude-distance formula where d = unit in parsecs, absolute magnitude = Mv; on the opposite side, apparent magnitude = mv.
Final Thought
The above discussion concludes that the nature of the absolute magnitude is the natural brightness of the star; on the other hand, the nature of the apparent magnitude is the density of the star’s flux state.