Re: Magnitude?

Fri, 20 Feb 1998 01:21:16 -0500

Earl Needham wrote:
>         Inasmuch as it's been quite a few years (20+) since I took astronomy in
> college, I would appreciate a short explanation of the magnitude "system".
>         What I really need to know is -- magnitude 3 is brighter or dimmer than
> magnitude 1?  What about magnitude -3?  In other words, what is the scale?

Mag 1 is exactly 100 times brighter than mag 6.  The brightest stars are
mag 1 or mag 0.  The Big Dipper is mostly mag 2.  The faintest stars
visible to the naked eye in a country setting are about mag 6.  
Each mag is about 2.52 times brighter than the next lower number.
Jay Respler
Satellite Tracker * Early Typewriter Collector
           Freehold,  New Jersey