What does air mass (astronomy) mean?

Definitions for air mass (astronomy)
air mass (as·tron·o·my)

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  1. Air mass (astronomy)

    In astronomy, air mass or airmass is a measure of the amount of air along the line of sight when observing a star or other celestial source from below Earth's atmosphere (Green 1992). It is formulated as the integral of air density along the light ray. As it penetrates the atmosphere, light is attenuated by scattering and absorption; the thicker atmosphere through which it passes, the greater the attenuation. Consequently, celestial bodies when nearer the horizon appear less bright than when nearer the zenith. This attenuation, known as atmospheric extinction, is described quantitatively by the Beer–Lambert law. "Air mass" normally indicates relative air mass, the ratio of absolute air masses (as defined above) at oblique incidence relative to that at zenith. So, by definition, the relative air mass at the zenith is 1. Air mass increases as the angle between the source and the zenith increases, reaching a value of approximately 38 at the horizon. Air mass can be less than one at an elevation greater than sea level; however, most closed-form expressions for air mass do not include the effects of the observer's elevation, so adjustment must usually be accomplished by other means. Tables of air mass have been published by numerous authors, including Bemporad (1904), Allen (1976), and Kasten and Young (1989).

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of air mass (astronomy) in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of air mass (astronomy) in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4


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"air mass (astronomy)." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 31 May 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/air+mass+%28astronomy%29>.

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    out of condition; not strong or robust; incapable of exertion or endurance
    • A. askant
    • B. irascible
    • C. flabby
    • D. commensal

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