Definition and Illustration of Photometry

Word of the Week: Photometry

Measuring the brightness of a star, asteroid, comet or other celestial body by comparing it to a reference star.

Astronomers use photometry to study asteroid characteristics like their shapes, sizes, and how fast they rotate. To learn about Bennu before launching the mission, the OSIRIS-REx team used photometry taken with special filters from Earth-based telescopes to study the asteroid’s physical properties.

Credit: University of Arizona


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