Radio luminosity


In astronomy, luminosity is the total amount of energy emitted by a star, galaxy, or other astronomical object per unit time. It is related to the brightness, which is the luminosity of an object in a given spectral region. In SI units luminosity is measured in joules per second or watts. Values for luminosity are often given in the terms of the luminosity of the Sun, which has a total power output of 3.846×1026 W. The symbol for solar luminosity is L⊙. Luminosity can also be given in terms of magnitude. The absolute bolometric magnitude (Mbol) of an object is a logarithmic measure of its total energy emission.

The luminosity of a radio source is measured in W Hz^−1, to avoid having to specify a bandwidth over which it is measured. The observed strength, or flux density, of a radio source is measured in Jansky.

The spectral index is typically -0.7.

Related formulas


Lvluminosity (W/Hz)
Sobsobserved flux density (W*m-2*Hz-1)
DLluminosity distance (m)
zredshift (dimensionless)
αspectral index (dimensionless)