Measuring the distance to stars using parallax

  1. how can you use the angle to determine the distance if you don't know the motion of the star itself.
    is it by observing the star from the same point in two different years and then subtracting off this effect?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    Motion? That doesn't have anything to do with the distance. The difference in position provides you an angle and the diameter of earth's orbit a measuring stick.

    Try drawing a diagram.
     
  4. Drakkith

    Staff: Mentor

    Most stars do not move significantly over the course of 6 - 12 months. For those that do you can simply figure out the proper motion and correct for it to find the parallax.
     
  5. Chronos

    Chronos 9,951
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

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