standard candle


Examples of standard candle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For several years Perlmutter's SCP collaboration had been banking on type Ia supernovae being standard candles. Richard Panek, Scientific American, 14 Nov. 2023 For the local universe, most rely on various standard candles—certain types of supernovae and other astrophysical objects that possess a known, scarcely varying intrinsic brightness, allowing their distances and motions with respect to us to be more easily ascertained. Jonathan O'Callaghan, Scientific American, 11 May 2023 For an object to serve as a standard candle, astronomers must know its inherent brightness, or luminosity. Lyndie Chiou, Quanta Magazine, 8 Feb. 2023 Wendy Freedman, an astronomer at the University of Chicago, uses a certain class of red giant stars as her preferred standard candle. Daniel Leonard, Scientific American, 25 Jan. 2022 Next, the Cepheids are used to calibrate the distances to Type Ia supernovas — even brighter (though rarer) standard candles that can be seen in faraway galaxies. Quanta Magazine, 25 Oct. 2017 Red giants shining at that theoretical limit can thus become standard candles. Leila Sloman, Scientific American, 29 July 2019 White dwarfs at the Chandrasekhar limit are thought to be more or less identical, which is why Type Ia supernovas were considered to be such great standard candles. Quanta Magazine, 31 July 2017 By finding the very brightest red giants in a distant galaxy—the ones that toe this theoretical limit—the team could use them as standard candles to calculate distances and its own H0. Joshua Sokol, Science | AAAS, 19 July 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'standard candle.' 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

1879, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of standard candle was in 1879

Dictionary Entries Near standard candle

Cite this Entry

“Standard candle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on standard candle

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!