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Star Viewing

  1. Oct 24, 2007 #1
    A recent (dumb) question that came to mind. Perhaps I posted in the wrong place recently. Given the brightest known star. What is the maximum distance we would be able to see it given current technology. Is there a rule or something? Say the divergence of photons vs initial brightness (magnitude)? Thanks guys!
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 24, 2007 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    It has to do with the aperture of the collection system and really the surface area catching the photons, as well as getting outside the atmosphere. The HST has bee very successful since it is out in space, and not on the ground. The number of photons reaching the observer is a function of luminosity (number/rate of photons moving per solid angle of space and the distance they have to travel).

    But then we also supplement the visual systems with radio and UV/X-ray detectors.
  4. Oct 25, 2007 #3
    Thank you!!
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