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Stellar Distances

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How do we calculate or determine the distances to stars? What units do we use and what are the limitations (if any) of the method used for such calculations?

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Generally we use parallax to determine such things (meaning we use angles and simple Pythagorean math with really big numbers and very small angles), although a star's position relative to our orbital plane effects the ability to do so. Simply put, we plot angles while observing from two opposing points in Earth's orbit around the sun and use the line described by Earth's 2 points as the baseline for a triangle. Normally the ...

Solution Summary

Brief discussion on the measure of distances to stars in our galaxy