Tuesday, November 15, 2022

🕮 Star Magnitude (Brightness) Explained

We're going to review a really quick history of star magnitude and how it came to be.
From what we know, at this time, Hipparchus was the Greek astronomer who lived in the 2nd century.
He was the first to start this star brightness classification.
He classified 850 stars ranging from 1 to 6 in terms of brightness.
So what did this look like for Hipparchus? If you look at this picture, here you can see that there are a range of star brightnesses.
He said the brightest stars like Rigel, right here, in the constellation of Orion would be a first magnitude star because it's very bright.
Then the fainter stars, ones that are up here that are very tiny little pinpoints and don't really stand out, those faint stars would be of sixth magnitude.
This was really used by astronomers for the past 2,000 plus years.