What Does Luminosity Mean In Astronomy and How Do Astronomers Measure the Luminosity of a Star?

Luminosity (L) is the measure of energy, or power emitted by a star.

It is measured the same way we measure the energy output of a lightbulb.

Lightbulbs come in different strengths: 40 watts, 60 watts, or 100 watts, for instance.

A watt is a unit of energy emission.

The Sun’s luminosity, or energy output, is about the same as 4,000 billion trillion 100-watt light-bulbs.

One degree of luminosity (1 L) is equal to the Sun’s luminosity.

The star Sirius has a luminosity of 30 (30 L). It puts out thirty times more energy than the Sun.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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