Difference WikiPhysics

Difference Between Absolute Magnitude and Apparent Magnitude

Main Difference

The main difference between Absolute Magnitude and Apparent Magnitude is that Absolute Magnitude is the estimation of the brightness of the star from 10 parsecs or 32.58 light-years distance, whereas Apparent magnitude is the estimation of the brightness of star from the distance of earth and that star.

Absolute Magnitude vs. Apparent Magnitude

The estimation of the luminance of star which can be stated as the level of brightness of the star, when observed from of 10 parsecs (2.58 light-years) distance is known as the absolute magnitude; on the other hand, the estimation of a star’s luminosity from the distance of earth, when viewed, is known as the apparent magnitude.

The inherent brightness of the star that is naturally built-in is associated with the absolute magnitude; on the flip side, the state of flux density (energy) through the star is associated with apparent magnitude.

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The measurement of an astronomical body’s absolute magnitude is from ten parsecs (32.58 light-years) in the absence of any kind of a possible cause that can restrict the brightness. On the other side of the coin, the measurement of an astronomical body’s (star) apparent magnitude doesn’t involve the interpretation of the distance of a star from the earth. Still, it can be viewed simply from any point from either telescope or the naked eye.

The calculation for the estimation of the absolute magnitude of a star is done by the known value of distance; on the other hand, apparent magnitude is measured by the distance of the star from any point. In this magnitude-distance formula, where distance = d in unit parsecs, 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 symbol for absolute magnitude is ‘Mv’; on the flip side, the symbol for apparent magnitude is ‘mv.’

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Comparison Chart

Absolute MagnitudeApparent Magnitude
It is the estimation of the brightness of the star from 10 parsecs or 32.58 light-years distance.It is the estimation of the brightness of star from the distance of earth and that star.
Measurement
Brightness from a star is measured from a standard distance.Brightness from a star is measured from a 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 starEnergy flux of a star
Symbol
Mvmv
Sun Magnitude
4.8-26.93

What is Absolute Magnitude?

Absolute magnitude in terms of physics is a measure for the Star’s Luminosity, which here is referred the brightness of the star when observed through a distance of 10 parsecs or light year value of 32.58. The measurement of an astronomical body’s absolute magnitude is from ten parsecs (32.58 light-years) in the absence of any kind of a possible cause that can limit the illumination. The absolute magnitudes of bright stars are such as Sirius 1.45, Arcturus -0.31, Vega 0.58, Spica -3.55, Barnard’s Star 13.24 and, Proxima Centauri 15.45.

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The equation is mv – Mv = – 5 + 5 log10(d). So, the symbol for the representation of absolute magnitude is ‘Mv.’ The nature of absolute magnitude is the intrinsic luminosity of a star. Based on 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 by the standard value of distance. The intrinsic brightness of the star that is naturally integral is related to the absolute magnitude. It means absolute magnitude is the natural brightness of the star.

According to the magnitude-distance formula, where distance = d in unit parsecs, absolute magnitude equals Mv, (mv- Mv), which equals to distance modulus of the star. The measurement of the brightness of the star, which can be brief as the level of brightness of the star, when measured from 10 parsecs (2.58 light-years) distance, is called the absolute magnitude. This measurement of the brightness of a star can be accomplished by the help of the telescope, and the naked eye can’t measure this natural luminosity.

What is Apparent Magnitude?

Apparent magnitude in terms of physics is a measure of star brightness that is the Star’ Luminosity is when the distance is measured in 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 representation of apparent magnitude is ‘mv.’

According to magnitude-distance formula, apparent magnitude equals to mv. The state of flux density (energy) of the star is related to apparent magnitude. The measurement of a star’s luminosity from the distance of the earth to that measured star, when viewed, is called the apparent magnitude. The calculation of an astronomical body’s (star) apparent magnitude doesn’t include the elucidation of the distance of a star from the earth. Still, it can be measured easily from any point with the help of either the naked eye or telescope.

However, an apparent magnitude can be measured by the distance of the star from any point. The main point of discussion of apparent magnitude can be related to the brightness of a star. This apparent magnitude is not the intrinsic property of a star, but it can be measured concerning the distance from the earth with the help of the telescope.

Key Differences

  1. The absolute magnitudes of well-known stars are such as Sirius 1.45, Arcturus -0.31, Vega 0.58, Spica -3.55, Barnard’s Star 24 and, Proxima Centauri 15.45; on the flip side, 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.
  2. Based on the Hipparchian scale, the sun has 4.83 absolute magnitudes; on the other hand, the sun has -26, the moon is -11, and venus has -3 apparent magnitude.
  3. The symbol that is used to represent absolute magnitude is Mv; on the opposite side, the symbol that is used to represent apparent magnitude is mv.
  4. In absolute magnitude, the brightness from a star is measured from a standard distant point; on the opposite side, in apparent magnitude, brightness from a star is measured from a distance of any point.
  5. The nature of absolute magnitude is the intrinsic luminosity of a star; on the other hand, the nature of apparent magnitude is the energy flux of the star.
  6. Absolute magnitude is the measurement of the star brightness from 10 parsecs or 32.58 light-years; on the other hand, apparent magnitude is the measurement of star brightness from the distance of the earth to that star.
  7. The natural brightness of the star is mainly associated with the absolute magnitude; on the flip side, the flux state density of the star is associated with the apparent magnitude.
  8. According to the magnitude-distance formula where d= unit in parsecs, absolute magnitude = Mv; on the opposite side, apparent magnitude = mv.

Conclusion

The above discussion concludes that the nature of absolute magnitude is the natural brightness of star; on the flip side, the nature of apparent magnitude is the flux state density of star.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss