lustre; yet imperfect as this may be, it is at present the only rule we have to go by.
The relative brightness of our six stars, may be expressed as follows: Sirius – – – Arcturus – Capella _
, Lyra – – Aidebaran • Procyon.
The notations here used are those which have been explained in my first Catalogue of the relative Brightness of the Stars; but to denominate the magnitudes of these six stars so that they may with some probability represent the distances at which we should place them according to their relative brightness, I must introduce a more minute subdivision than has been commonly admitted, by using fractional distinctions, and propose the following arrangement.
Proportional Distances of Stars.
|Sirius ––||1,00||Lyra ––||1,30|
|Arcturus –||1,20||Aldebaran –||1,40|
|Capella ––||1,25||Procyon ––||1,40|
The interval between Sirius and Arcturus is here made very considerable; but whoever will attentively compare together the lustre of these two stars, when they are at an equal altitude must allow that the difference in their brightness is fully sufficient to justify the above arrangement.
The order of the other four stars is partly a consequence of the distance at which Arcturus is placed, and of the comparative lustre of these stars such as it has been estimated by observations. But if it should hereafter appear that other
- Phil. Trans, for 1796, page 189.