[extropy-chat] Watching the comets, Part II

Hal Finney hal at finney.org
Fri Apr 16 17:25:07 UTC 2004

One thing to keep in mind with comet magnitudes is that those reflect
total light emission from the entire comet (or at least the coma).
In other words, to compare it with a star of the same magnitude, you'd
have to imagine squeezing down the extended visible area of the comet
into a point, and then it would look as bright as the star.

For small comets like the 30" one listed, this won't make much difference,
but then, they don't look very comet-like.  For large, diffuse comets
it does make a big difference and the comet will be much harder to see
than its magnitude would suggest.


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