light curve


Definition of light curve

: a graph showing the variation in brightness of a celestial object (such as a variable star) over a period of time

Examples of light curve in a Sentence

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Another possibility is that Ultima Thule is surrounded by dust or small moons that even out its light curve, but this explanation has problems too. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Something Weird Is Going on With New Horizons' Next Target," 21 Dec. 2018 Of the more than 150,000 stars Kepler surveyed, just one—dubbed KIC 8462852, after its number in the Kepler Input Catalog—displayed a light curve that defied explanation. Kimberly Cartier, Scientific American, "Have Aliens Built Huge Structures around Boyajian’s Star?," 1 May 2017 No conceivable planetary system could produce such an extreme and variable light curve. Kimberly Cartier, Scientific American, "Have Aliens Built Huge Structures around Boyajian’s Star?," 1 May 2017 With help from Andrew Vanderburg, an astronomer at the University of Texas at Austin, Shallue developed a machine-learning program that detects light curves. Ben Guarino, Anchorage Daily News, "Found: Another star system with eight planets, just like ours," 15 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'light curve.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of light curve

1890, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

13 Jan 2019

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The first known use of light curve was in 1890

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