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Extinction

  • Pieter C. van der Kruit
Chapter
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 416)

Abstract

In 1904 Kapteyn produced a new derivation of the density of stars as a function of distance from the Sun. The possibility of extinction of starlight by dust, which was vital for making a correct model of the distribution of stars in space, was recognized early. If it existed, it could mean that the Sun was in a preferred position in space, which Kapteyn found difficult to accept. Part of a possible extinction would be the result of scattering of the starlight by ‘meteoric’ material, and part absorption by gas. Kapteyn deduced that the scattering by the meteoric material would affect blue light most and the extinction would then result in an increasing reddening of starlight with distance. He indeed found evidence for such reddening and therefore extinction of light in space. However, Shapley’s conclusion that there is no reddening towards globular clusters was seen as an important and convincing proof for an almost completely transparent space. In 1911 Kapteyn and his Laboratory finally moved into their permanent housing.

Keywords

Globular Cluster Proper Motion Bright Star Apparent Magnitude Interstellar Extinction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Chapter  11. Extinction

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pieter C. van der Kruit
    • 1
  1. 1.Kapteyn Astronomical InstituteUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

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