What is parallax method ?


Swatisinghania has given absolutely correct answer. So, you can refer to it.
Here are few more things I like to add,
Parallax Method: A distant body in space is observed from two different places on earth. The two lines of observations from two points on earth subtend an angle at the distant body. Knowing the angle and the distance between the two points on earth we can find the distance of the object in space. This is the parallax method of measurement.
For details you may refer to the animations and derivations in the study material.
@ Swatisinghania. Good answer. You get a thumb up. Keep posting!!

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The parallax method is a way of measuring distances of far-away objects. Astronomers use parallax to measure the distance to stars.

Parallax is a measurement of the shift of a nearby object compared to distant objects when observed from two different positions.

You can see this effect for yourself. Cover your right eye and look directly at something some distance away, like a tree or house. Hold your hand at arms' length and stick up one finger, and cover the tree with your finger.

Now uncover your right eye and cover the left eye, WITHOUT moving your hand. Your finger is no longer covering the tree. The "parallax shift", the distance that your finger appeared to move (relative to the tree in the background) can be used to measure how far away things are.

For nearby objects in the solar system - for example, a comet or an asteroid - two observatories can observe the same object at the same time, and measure the "parallax angle" between the comet and a distant star. Knowing how far apart the two observatories are will let you calculate the distance to the comet.

For other "nearby" stars, we assume that the stars themselves aren't moving quickly. Take one measurement today, and another measurement exactly six months later. We know the distance between the two observations is 184 million miles (twice the Earth's orbital radius). If our reference star is far enough away, we can use the parallax angle to calculate the nearby star's distance.

For VERY distant objects, this doesn't work, for two reasons.
1. The parallax angle is too tiny to be measured accurately
2. We cannot be sure that the reference star in the background is far enough away from the "nearby" star to accurately calculate the distance.


  • 18

Parallax describes the apparent displacement of an object from along two lines of sight. For example, a tree is 20 feet in front of you, and a shed is 500 feet past the tree. If you stand at different distances to the left and right of the tree it will appear to have a greater shift in position than the shed. The nearer object (the tree) is said to have a greater parallax, as its position relative to different viewpoints exhibits greater change, while the shed will appear to have less parallax.

Scientists and astronomers can use this method to determine the distance between the Earth and objects in space by measuring the difference between an objects apparent position as you look at it from different angles. Generally telescopes are used for this.

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frm where is this answer??

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good example !

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 Large distances such as the distance of a planet/a star from the earth can be measured by using parallax method.Parallax is the name given to the change in the position of an object with respect to its background,when the object is seen from 2 different positions. The distance between the 2 positions is called the BASIS.

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