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Three directly measurable quantities are available in observational cosmology:

- apparent flux fv, integrated flux or apparent magnitude m (broadband, narrowband, colours)

- angle theta - position and extent

- redshift z

- combinations, such as surface brightness B (flux/solid angle)

Polarization measurements are employed only implicitly through the astrophysical properties of the objects used in cosmological studies. The fifth measureable quantity of astronomy, time - here the age of the universe - is obtained indirectly (Sect. 3.1.3).