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Statistical analysis of photometric data - Astronomy

  1. May 26, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    My class is doing an assignment where we have to create a programme to convert the Hipparcos data from magnitudes to flux so that it when you plot a frequency histogram of the data you will have an approximation of a normal distribution. I've completed this OK, but I was wondering why this is the case?

    Why do you need to convert the data from magnitude to flux? Is it because magnitudes are logarithmic and so wouldn't get an accurate normal distribution with a reasonable spread up to +- 5 std from the mean?

    That's all I can think of. Am I on the right chain of thought here? Any advice on this would be extremely helpful and appreciated.

  2. jcsd
  3. May 27, 2007 #2


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    I think you're right in your reasoning, but maybe somebody else can offer further insights. In the mean time, at least this bumps the thread. So when you say flux, do you mean light intensity measured as the power per unit area arriving here (on Earth)?
  4. May 27, 2007 #3
    In a strict sense it won't be the actual flux (in terms of its value), but it is still flux as per your definition. In fact I probably should have said flux density.

    It is determined by rearranging the standard apparent magnitude formula of:

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