Say there’s two stars. One star has a very high luminosity that’s located at a very far distance from the observer. The second star has a...?

... very low luminosity that’s located very close to the observer. Is it possible that when the observer looks into the night sky with perfect star-gazing conditions, that both stars appear to have the same luminosity, and distances relative to the observer?

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  • 2 months ago
    Favourite answer

    Yes its very possible they appear to have the same luminosity as observed from Earth.

    They won't appear to have the same distance, because we cannot determine distance by observation alone.

  • 2 months ago

    By line of sight,  yes. By telescope,  no.

  • 2 months ago

    No. One reason is you cannot tell how far away a star is from you. The other is the inherently dimmer star will be redder because it isn't as massive and the surface temperature is much lower. The more luminous star, no matter it's distance, will have much higher surface temperature and be white or blue white in color.

    Thus is a major reason why there is an absolute magnitude scale. That is equal to visual magnitude at a standard distance of 10 parsecs , 32.6 light years. 

  • 2 months ago

    Yes, absolutely, they can look similar to the naked eye.

    That's why all the old myths came about, such as the stars being lights set in a dome - all the same distance from Earth.

    And, astrologers dreaming up constellations, connecting stars that are vast distances apart in three dimensions but happen to appear close visually from Earth.

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