List of common astronomy symbols

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This is a compilation of symbols commonly used in astronomy, particularly professional astronomy.

Age (stellar)[edit]

  • τ - age

Astrometry parameters[edit]

Astrometry parameters

Cosmological parameters[edit]

Cosmological parameters

Distance description[edit]

Distance description for orbital and non-orbital parameters:

Galaxy comparison[edit]

Galaxy type and spectral comparison:

Luminosity comparison[edit]

Luminosity comparison:

  • LS, L - luminosity of the Sun (Sol)

Luminosity of certain object:

Mass comparison[edit]

Mass comparison:

  • ME, M - mass of Earth
  • MJ, M - mass of Jupiter
  • MS, M - mass of the Sun (Sol)

Mass of certain object:

Metallicity comparison[edit]

Metallicity comparison:

  • [Fe/H] - Iron ratio to Hydrogen, a logarithm representation of the ratio of a star's iron abundance compared to that of the Sun
  • [M/H] - Metallicity ratio.
  • Z - Metallicity
  • ZS, Z - Metallicity of the Sun (Sol)

Orbital parameters[edit]

Orbital Parameters of a Cosmic Object:

Radius comparison[edit]

Radius comparison:

  • RE, R - Radius compared to Earth
  • RJ, R - Radius compared to Jupiter
  • RS, R - Radius compared to The Sun (Sol)

Spectral comparison[edit]

Spectral comparison:

Temperature description[edit]

Temperature description:

  • Teff - Temperature Effect, usually associated with luminous object
  • Tmax - Temperature Maximum, usually associated with non-luminous object
  • Tavg - Temperature Average, usually associated with non-luminous object
  • Tmin - Temperature Minimum, usually associated with non-luminous object
  • K - Kelvin

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ultra-luminous X-ray sources: X-ray binaries in a high/hard state?, Z. Kuncic, R. Soria, C. K. Hung, M. C. Freeland, G. V. Bicknell, 2006