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RHYS LEWIS, AHS, DECD, UNISA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RHYS LEWIS, AHS, DECD, UNISA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Animation demonstrating the principle of the inverse- square law, as it relates to luminosity and distance from a star. Light, in the form of photons, is emitted from the star in all directions. At a given distance R, nine photons pass through an area A, giving a luminosity L. At twice the distance, 2R, the area passed by the same nine photons is four times larger (two squared), and the intensity is therefore L/4. At three times the distance, 3R, the area is nine times larger (three squared), and the intensity L/9. The luminosity is said to have an inverse square relationship with distance.
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