The Zetas have given that the 12th planet is presently of actual magnitude 2 and apparent magnitude 10. I have done some research to determine what this means for those of us who want to spot it in the sky. I found an explanation of star magnitudes. Here are some interesting things I discovered:
Magnitude of Polaris (the North Star) 2.0 Magnitude of Neptune 8.2 Magnitude of Pluto 13.7 Typical limiting magnitude 5.2
This page also confirms that diffuse objects such as galaxies appear to be fainter than their published magnitudes.
So, when looking for the 12th planet we are looking for something that gives off as much light as the North Star, but whose apparent brightness is between Neptune and Pluto. Since the dimmest object that you can typically see is 5.2 (this will vary by location), it will no doubt be helpful to have some kind of optics to magnify the brightness.
Another tidbit I gathered from the above page is that five magnitudes of brightness is equivalent to a factor of about 100 in terms of the amount of light received on the earth. The scale is logarithmic, so, a difference in magnitude of 8 (between the actual and apparent magnitude of the 12th) consists in a factor of nearly 3000. Given the radius of the 12th is 4 times that of the earth (which would make its radius 2.5 x 10 ^ 7 meters. This is just a bit larger than Neptune, practically equal. Since the 12th is 1.8 magnitudes dimmer than Neptune, it stands to reason that the 12th either has a lower albedo, or is currently farther than Neptune, or both. However, it does not seem to follow that its apparent magnitude should be anywhere near 2.0, since this would require an increase in area of 3000.
I have been watching Orion for quite some time now, looking in the indicated region. I do not think the 12th's actual magnitude is much different than its apparent magnitude, as this is not supported either by experiential evidence or the comparable magnitude of any of the other planets (which, too, give off diffuse light). A magnitude of 10 is reasonable for an object the size and distance of the 12th planet. Given this, it is understandable why it has not been spotted yet - it is dimmer than we think. Magnitude 10 is just beyond the limits of my optics (even with red/IR magnification). I would like to know when the 12th will reach, say, magnitude 9, as I think at that time I should have no trouble spotting it, whether it is diffuse or not. (As it is, stars of magnitude 8-9.5 appear diffuse and hazy to me.)
Offered by Michael.
It is important to note that the term apparent magnitude means the brightness of the object if it were seen from earth, or how
much total light it appears to emit from our vantage point. Where absolute magnitude (i.e. actual magnitude) is not actually
even determined by scientists by measuring the power of a star's luminosity through total energy output and mass, rather than
what appears to be the total energy output and mass from earth. All they do is take the star's (or galactic object's) apparent
magnitude, and distance. then they mathematically calculate how bright it would appear from earth if it were a distance of
10 parsecs away, taking into account whether how much closer or how much farther it is from 10 parsecs now. (Cant
remember which it is, could be 15 or 12 parsecs, instead of 10.) Hence, the scientific definition of "actual or absolute "
magnitude is not that at all. They just take the apparent magnitude from earth and multiply the numbers to imagine what it
would look like if it were 10 parsecs away. They call this "absolute" magnitude because the distance is theoretically equal
for all the objects. considering that 10 parsecs is multiple times farther than the current distance of the 12th planet (32
billion miles). It is important to note that, in astronomer's terms, the 12th planet's actual or absolute magnitude is even less
than magnitude 11.0! To them, apparent magnitude means
The confusion arises because when the zetas say 2.0, they arent using it in the way that scientists would define apparent magnitude or absolute magnitude. My guess is that they are measuring "2.0" by taking the illumined portions of the 12th planet, and comparing this intensity to an object that would be equal in brightness from earth, IF the 12th planet were not diffuse or more accurately, "irregular" in its emission of light (as the 12th planet is because the red glow only comes from certain portions of the seas, and not the full area of the sphere and therefore its light sources diffuse rapidly) and this is why instruments will register it as 11.0, rather than 2.0. They assume the light source is eminating from the full area of a sphere. Hence, telescopes, designed to measure magnitude by assuming that light is emanating from the full area of a sphere, classify it as magnitude 11.0, and the actual magnitude from the vantage point of earth is 11.0, regardless of whether certain faint, irregular hisps of light occasionally make it to earth with magnitude 2.0 brightness. Since these are irregular or diffuse hisps of 2.0 light, the eye and other telescopic instruments can barely focus on them in the first place, and for all intents and purposes, are not there.
Offered by Brian.