Go Astr☾nomy
Astronomy Articles

The Visual Magnitude Scale

Visual brightness of stars, planets and other astronomical objects is based on the visual magnitude scale (Vo). Every integer increase in magnitude represents a 2.5 increase in brightness. So the Sun is 6 trillion times brighter than a 6th magnitude star, which in turn is 4 billion times brighter than a 30th magnitude star - the limit of the Hubble Space Telescope.

      1. Magnitude (Vo)
      2. Object or Limit
      1. -27
      2. the Sun
      1. -20
      2. brightest meteors
      1. -13
      2. Full Moon
      1. -4
      2. Venus
      1. -2
      2. Mars, Jupiter
      1. -1
      2. Sirius (brightest star)
      1. +6
      2. naked-eye limit
      1. +10
      2. binoculars limit
      1. +14
      2. 8" telescope limit
      1. +15
      2. 12" telescope limit
      1. +18
      2. 30" telescope limit
      1. +25
      2. large telescope limit (CCD)
      1. +30
      2. Hubble Space Telescope limit

    Find your inner astronomer. Your complete guide to amateur astronomy.

    Help keep this site up-to-date by making a donation. Thank you!