I wanted to calculate the distance between the end points of the Orion's belt (Alnitak and Mintaka).
I searched in the internet and I found out their angular separation to be 2.736°.
Then I searched for the actual distances of the two stars from Earth; and it turned to be 1260 light years for Alnitak and 1200 light years for Mintaka.
Then I used the cosines law to find the actual distance between the two stars. I reached 84 light years as the answer.
- Is the cosines law a good way to find the actual distance between two celestial objects in such far distances?
- Is there another way to find the actual distance between two celestial objects?
- Can we find the actual distance between two celestial bodies if we don't know the angular distance between them?