Fr.: magnitude apparente
A measure of a star's observed brightness (opposed to → absolute magnitude); symbol m. It depends on the star's → intrinsic brightness, its distance from the observer, and the amount of → interstellar absorption. The brightest star → Sirius has an apparent magnitude of -1.46, while the weakest stars visible with the naked eye in the most favorable observation conditions have magnitudes of about +6.5. The stars of magnitudes less than +23 are measured by professional observatories, whereas those of magnitudes less than +30 by a telescope such as the → Hubble Space Telescope (M.S.: SDE).