2016 schedule

Sun 09:45-10:30
Theatre 106

Spectroscopy with RSpec

Stephen Broderick

St Ursula's College, Toowoomba QLD

Getting started in spectroscopy is now easy and inexpensive, thanks to the Star Analyser grating costing under $200. The Star Analyser attaches to a CCD camera and allows you to easily see the spectra of distant stars in real time. You can even use an unguided DSLR camera — no telescope needed. RSpec ("Hot product", Sky & Telescope 2011) is the simple but powerful software program used to analyse spectra. Video tutorials explain step-by-step how to analyse and interpret the data contained in these spectra.

Some possible activities being presented in this session include:

  • analysing the spectrum of the Sun, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn;
  • making a soar spectrometer;
  • detecting Neptune’s methane atmosphere;
  • determining any star’s OBAFGKM star-type and temperature from its spectrum curve;
  • identifying the composition of a star or nebula from its emission and absorption lines;
  • detecting the cosmological red-shift of a distant quasar!
  • measuring the blue-shift of a supernova’s expanding shell as it races towards us at millions of kilometres/hour.