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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Luminosity \Lu`mi*nos"i*ty\, n. The quality or state of being luminous; luminousness.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1630s, "quality of being luminous," from French luminosité or else a native formation from luminous + -ity. In astronomy, "intrinsic brightness of a heavenly body" (as distinguished from apparent magnitude, which diminishes with distance), attested from 1906.


n. 1 (context uncountable English) the state of being luminous, or a luminous object; brilliance or radiance 2 (context physics English) the ratio of luminous flux to radiant flux at the same wavelength; the luminosity factor 3 (context astronomy English) the rate at which a star radiates energy in all directions


n. the quality of being luminous; emitting or reflecting light; "its luminosity is measured relative to that of our sun" [syn: brightness, brightness level, luminance, luminousness, light]


In astronomy, luminosity is the total amount of energy emitted by a star, galaxy, or other astronomical object per unit time. It is related to the brightness, which is the luminosity of an object in a given spectral region.

In SI units luminosity is measured in joules per second or watts. Values for luminosity are often given in the terms of the luminosity of the Sun, which has a total power output of . The symbol for solar luminosity is L. Luminosity can also be given in terms of magnitude. The absolute bolometric magnitude (M) of an object is a logarithmic measure of its total energy emission.

Luminosity (Vajrayana)

Luminosity or clear light ( Tibetan od gsal, Sanskrit prabhāsvara), in Vajrayana, Tibetan Buddhism and Bon, refers to the nature of mind experienced in deep sleep and death.

Luminosity (scattering theory)

In scattering theory and accelerator physics, luminosity (L) is the ratio of the number of events detected (N) in a certain time (t) to the interaction cross-section :

$$L = \frac{1}{\sigma}\frac{dN}{dt}.$$
It has the dimensions of events per time per area, and is usually expressed in the cgs units of cm· s or the non-SI units of b·s. In practice, L is dependent on the particle beam parameters, such as beam width and particle flow rate, as well as the target properties, such as target size and density.

A related quantity is integrated luminosity (L), which is the integral of the luminosity with respect to time:

L = ∫L dt.

The luminosity and integrated luminosity are useful values to characterize the performance of a particle accelerator. In particular, all collider experiments aim to maximize their integrated luminosities, as the higher the integrated luminosity, the more data is available to analyze.

Luminosity (disambiguation)

Luminosity may refer to:

  • Luminosity, in astronomy, the total amount of energy radiated by an object per unit time
  • Luminosity (scattering theory), in particle physics and accelerator physics, the number of particles per unit area per unit time times the opacity of the target
  • Luminosity — Ignite the Night!, the Cedar Point amusement park show
  • Luminosity Gaming, an esports team

In optical photometry:

  • In photometry, luminosity is sometimes incorrectly used to refer to luminance, which is the density of luminous intensity in a given direction
  • In photometry, luminous flux measures the perceived power of light

In computer graphics:

  • In Adobe Photoshop's imaging operations, luminosity is the term used incorrectly to refer to the luma component of a color image signal
  • The "L" in HSL color space is sometimes said incorrectly to stand for luminosity
Luminosity (performance art)

Luminosity (1997) was a work of performance art by Serbian artist Marina Abramović in Sean Kelly Gallery, New York. The woman sitting on a bicycle saddle in the center of a wall was dissolved in the powerful stream of light directed on her. She, exposed on a public inspection, was vulnerable. This was performance about loneliness, pain, spiritual firmness, luminous intensity and transcendental essence of the human being, which body – only the tool.

Usage examples of "luminosity".

Still on the same day, at the Argentine base at Orkney Island, two meteorological observers sighted an aerial object flying at high speed on a parabolic trajectory, course E-W, white luminosity, causing disturbance in the magnetic field registered on geomagnetic instruments with patterns notably out of the normal.

The noon sun struck down through the slot in the dome, hit the surface of the well water, and dazzled us with luminosity.

Matching of Hues -- Purity and Luminosity of Colours -- Matching Bright Hues -- Aid of Tinted Films -- Matching Difficulties Arising from Contrast -- Examination of Colours by Reflected and Transmitted Lights -- Effect of Lustre and Transparency of Fibres in Colour Matching -- Matching of Colours on Velvet Pile -- Optical Properties of Dye-stuffs, Dichroism, Fluorescence -- Use of Tinted Mediums -- Orange Film -- Defects of the Eye -- Yellowing of the Lens -- Colour Blindness, etc.

The heliometer parallax is doubtless less reliable than the photographic ones, and Doctor Adams states that the spectral type and luminosity of Betelgeuse make his value less certain than in the case of most other stars.

Every shining speck in the firmament is, no doubt, a luminous Sun, resembling our own, at least in its general features, and having in attendance upon it a greater or less number of planets, greater or less, whose still lingering luminosity is not sufficient to render them visible to us at so vast a distance, but which, nevertheless, revolve, moon-attended, about their starry centres, in obedience to the principles just detailed--in obedience to the three omniprevalent laws of revolution, the three immortal laws guessed by the imaginative Kepler, and but subsequently demonstrated and accounted for by the patient and mathematical Newton.

Like all the full moons that summer, they were oversized, rusted with a strange luminosity.

But how had the luminosities managed to corrupt and inflame the normally slumbersome Asian Combine?

The purity of her soft milky skin had a luminosity to it which swiftened Mr.

A dim though distinct luminosity seemed to inhere in all the vegetation, grass, leaves, and blossoms alike, while at one moment a detached piece of the phosphorescence appeared to stir furtively in the yard near the barn.

The leading luminosity of a prowling string of ten stopped in mid-air as if barred by an unseeable obstruction.

Several Trabis, the ubiquitous state-produced automobile, were parked against the curb on both sides of the street, still and driverless, but of the elusive suspects there was no trace at all, only an odd blue mist that seemed to glow with its own faint luminosity.

Nobody is denying that a Buddhist will interpret the luminosity as the Sambhogakaya, the Christian will interpret it perhaps as an angel or as Christ himself, a Jungian will interpret it as an archetypal emergence, and so on.

Just as Mrs Rackham reaches the monument, a peculiar thing happens: the whole of North Kensington undergoes a remarkable meteorological phenomenon--the sun is covered over by sheets of dark-grey cloud, but continues to shine with such brilliance that the clouds themselves assume an intense luminosity.

She was out and clear now, out and clear, and Grimes cut both inertial and reaction drives, used his gyroscopes to swing the sharp prow of the ship on to the target star, the Doncaster sun, brought that far distant speck of luminosity into the exact centre of his spiderweb sights.

Further, I say that had we never been cursed with these luminosities, we should not also be cursed today with most of our complications in childbirth.