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How a parsec works

  1. Apr 5, 2006 #1
    I searched the forum, but I couldnt find the answer to my question. And sorry if this is in the wrong thread.

    But anyway. I understand how a parsec works, when it comes to the simple trig behind it. But how do astronomers work out the angle opposite the radius of the earths orbit around the sun?

    Thanks for any help. Alex
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 5, 2006 #2


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    Gold Member

    The angle is determined by how much the target star moves against the background of distant stars.

    If they see the star move against this background by 2 arc seconds, then they can state that the star is 1 parsec away.
  4. Apr 6, 2006 #3
    Ok Thank you that really helps :)
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