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Homework Help: Absolute Magnitude of the Full Moon

  1. Nov 3, 2012 #1
    Hey guys, I was doing some homework and found something I don't quite understand. When calculating the absolute magnitude of the Full Moon, I came across a square root of its Albedo.

    (here - http://space.wikia.com/wiki/Absolute_magnitude).

    No idea why it's squared, but I can't get the +0,25 any other way so I guess it's there to stay?b]
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 3, 2012 #2


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    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    The square root is used to get the log scale right:
    As an example: A factor of 100 in the albedo corresponds to a factor of 100 in the light intensity, which is a difference of 5 in the apparent magnitude and therefore a difference of 1 in the logarithm, which corresponds to a factor of 10 in the argument of the logarithm. Therefore, you need the square root of the albedo in that formula.

    Take the log with base 100 (or 2.5*log instead of 5*log), and you can use ##\frac{ar^2}{d^2}## as argument, which directly corresponds to the intensity.
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