light curve


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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The light curve below, for the star KIC 6185331, displays an obvious dip (around day 28). Andrew Grant, Discover Magazine, 27 Nov. 2012 However, when searching for exocomets, astronomers don't look for symmetrical dips in the light curve. Jake Parks, Discover Magazine, 4 Apr. 2019 The light curve created by Earth passing in front of the sun might set off an alien invasion. Eric Betz, Discover Magazine, 31 Mar. 2016 That model may produce a light curve (how the light from the system changes over time) or some other data that scientists can compare to observations. Lauren Sgro, Discover Magazine, 6 Sep. 2018 Its light curve—how its brightness changes over time—peaked after just over 13 days and then began a long slow decline. Bydaniel Clery,, 10 Nov. 2022 The recent bolide agreement, granting NASA access to light curve data that will help scientists analyze the physical properties of plunging fireballs, is one step in that direction. Joey Roulette,, 16 Apr. 2022 In her circa 1928 photograph of an empty concrete amphitheater at Mills College, for instance, bands of dark and light curve outward like ripples of water from a pebble dropped in a pond, filling the frame. Los Angeles Times, 14 Apr. 2022 The Visual Survey Group alerted Dalba and University of New Mexico assistant professor Diana Dragomir to the light curve: a graph showing starlight over time. Julia Musto, Fox News, 16 Jan. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'light curve.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1857, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of light curve was in 1857

Dictionary Entries Near light curve

Cite this Entry

“Light curve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jun. 2023.

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