Scientists who study objects in space are called astronomers. There are many different objects to study in space, including stars. One of the ways that astronomers study stars is by measuring the brightness using something called the magnitude scale. “Magnitude” means size, but in this case, the “magnitude” of stars is how bright they are from Earth. The lower the number on the scale, the brighter the star. For example, our sun has a magnitude of -26.7, making it the brightest object in our sky. Humans can see objects that have a magnitude up to 6 without needing to use a telescope. However, this scale doesn’t tell us how bright a star is, because certain factors affect their magnitude. The full moon has a magnitude of -12.6 and looks very bright, but that’s because it’s so close. Astronomers use a similar scale called the absolute magnitude scale to find out the true brightness of a star. When they combine the measurements from both magnitude scales, they can learn how far away the star is.
Thanks for exploring with us!