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Astronomy

Star Magnitudes Table
by Vaughn Aubuchon

This chart represents relative luminosity, the relative brightness of the planets and the brighest stars, and the relationship between visual magnitude and distance from the observer.

The chart shows the faintest star that may be seen through a given size telescope, and estimates the total number of stars that can be seen through that telescope, and how far back into time that particular telescope can see.

The visual magnitude of each planet is also given.

30

100

60

30

80

80

30

Relative
Luminosity
(x 2.512)
(5th root of 100)
Visual
Magnitude
(apparent
brightness
)

Absolute magnitude =
visual magnitude at 10 parsecs)
(32.6 light years)

Examples
Est.
# of
stars
visible
Est.
% of
all stars
visible
(Approximate
same-luminosity)
Distance in
Light-Years
15 trillion
-26.8

The Sun !

 

 

 

6 Trillion
-26

2.5 Trillion
-25

1 Trillion
-24
This chart attempts to suggest :

399 Billion
-23

- the immense size of the universe

158 Billion
-22

- Estimated 500 billion galaxies

63 Billion
-21

- Estimated 1 sextillion stars

 25 Billion
-20

- the relative power of telescopes

 

 

 

10 Billion
-19

 

 

0.000000001

4 Billion
-18

 

 

 

1.6 Billion
-17

 

 

 

628 Million
-16

 

 

 

250 Million
-15

 

 

 

100 Million
-14

 

 

 

 

40 Million
-13

 

 

 

 

16 Million
-12

The Moon (-12)

 

 

0.0000001

6,320,137
-11

 

 

 

 

2,515,978
-10

 

 

 

0.000001

1,001,584
-9

 

 

 

 

398,720
-8

 

 

 

 

158,726
-7

 

 

 

0.00001

63,187
-6

 

 

 

 

25,154
-5

 

 

 

 

10,014
-4

Venus - the brightest planet

 

 

0.0001

3,986
-3

Jupiter

 

 

 

1,587
-2

Sirius (-1.4) (Brightest star, the dog star)

 

 

8.7

632
-1

Mercury, Canopus (-0.7) (2nd brightest star)

1

 

1

251
0

Mars, Saturn, Arcturus (0.0) (3rd brightest star), Vega

 

 

36

100
1

Spica (1.0) (16th brightest star), Altair

10

 

410

40
2

Polaris (2)(North Star)

 

 

?

16
3

 

100

 

 

6.3
4

Andromeda Galaxy (3.5) (2 Million)

 

 

10,000

2.5
5

Hundreds visible

103

0.01 %

 

1.00
6

Uranus, the faintest planet visible to naked eye.

 

0.01 %

100,000

0.398

7

Thousands visible

104

0.02 %

 

0.159

8

Neptune - can't see with naked eye

105

0.03 %

1 Billion

0.063

9

Faintest star visible in binoculars.

 

0.05 %

 

0.0251

10

Faintest star visible by 3" telescope.

107

0.07 %

2 Billion

0.0100

11

Faintest star visible by 4" telescope.

 

0.11 %

 

0.0040

12

Faintest star visible by 6" telescope.

 109

0.17 %

3 Billion

0.00159

13

Faintest star visible by 8" telescope.

0.25 %

 

0.00063

14

Faintest star visible by 10" telescope.

 1011

0.37 %

4 Billion

0.00025

15

Faintest star visible by 12" telescope.

0.55 %

 

0.000100

16

Pluto (800 Million miles)

 1012

0.82 %

5 Billion

0.000040

17

Faintest star visible by 16" telescope.

1.2 %

 

0.000016

18

Faintest star visible by 20" telescope.

 1014

1.8 %

6 Billion

0.0000063

19

Faintest star visible by 24" telescope.

 

2.7 %

 

0.0000025

20

Faintest star visible by 30" telescope.

1015

4.1 %

7 Billion

0.0000010

21

Faintest star visible by 40" telescope.

 

6.1 %

 

0.00000040

22

Faintest star visible by 60" telescope.

1016

9.1 %

8 Billion

0.00000016

23

Faintest star visible by 100" telescope.

 

14. %

 

0.00000006

24

Faintest star visible by 200" telescope.

1017

20. %

9 Billion

0.000000025

25

 

 

30. %

0.000000010

26

Faintest star visible to Hubble telescope.

1018

45. %

11 Billion

 

27

 

1019

68. %

 

 

28

THE BIG BANG - The Beginning of Time

1021

100. %

13.7 Billion*

-

*varies with
Hubble Constant estimation



DISCLAIMER
Although the author has tried to be as accurate as possible, errors are possible.
This chart is full of estimations, not absolutes.
I could not find an online star distance table like the one above. So, I made this conversion chart, to help myself understand the relationships between star distance and relative brightness.

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Vaughn Aubuchon
Vaughn's Summaries
©2003, 2004 Vaughn Aubuchon
www.vaughns-1-pagers.com
All Rights Reserved
This Vaughns Astronomy Star Magnitude Summary Chart
was last updated on 2014-08-08.