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V magnitude

Fig. 4.5 Noise contributions in various regimes of star brightness. Adapted from Fig. 1 in Code and Liller (1962, p. 285). For the brightest stars, "seeing" or scintillation dominates; for fainter stars, "shot noise" is most important; and for the faintest stars, fluctuations in the sky background contribute significantly to the noise. Notice the region where the shot noise due to the sky background ("Sky Limited") becomes dominant over the shot noise from the star

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