Fr.: correction K
A → color index correction applied to the photometric magnitudes and colors of a distant galaxy to compensate for the "reddening" of the galaxy due to → cosmological redshift. K correction is intended to derive the magnitudes in the → rest frame of the galaxy. Typically it is given as K(z) = az + bz2, where a and b depend on galaxy types. Conversely, one may deduce the redshift of a galaxy by its colors and a K-correction model.
The term K correction, probably stems from the K-term used by C. W. Wirtz (1918, Astron. Nachr. 206, 109), where K stands for Konstante, the German word for constant. The K-term was a constant offset in the redshift applied to diffuse nebulae in that epoch (source: A. L. Kinney, 1996, ApJ 467, 38); → correction.