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Stellar Flux: What is it?

  1. Dec 17, 2014 #1
    I have a little problem about Stellar Flux. I've searched google and bing for info but to no avail. Please help me understand Stellar Flux.

    Thanks, Epicall Rounder
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 17, 2014 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Offhand I would say it's what's known as "radiant flux", which is the total power emitted from a source.
  4. Dec 18, 2014 #3


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    First of all, let me just say that in my personal opinion the nomenclature related to starlight is needlessly complicated and in need of trimming.

    Anyway, stellar flux is the energy of radiation emitted by the star passing every second through a unit area. It is usually measured in a given band of EM radiation.

    It's the same as radiative flux density or radiation flux if taken over all wavelengths and the same as irradiance if the area is a surface area.
    If summed over a spherical area encompassing the source it gives the total power (luminosity) of the source. Luminosity over all bands is called bolometric luminosity.

    Stellar flux features in the calculations for apparent magnitude, since what you're comparing there is how much energy arrives per unit time from stars at the surface of the Earth (i.e., how bright they look) versus reference flux.

    I hope I got that right.

    Now this seems kinda relevant:
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014
  5. Dec 19, 2014 #4


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    There are (closed) threads here at PF and much to be googled on Flux of Solar Wind. So there could some ambiguity with the term stellar in the OP question.
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