Amateur Spectroscopy

Martin Veasey | Orion Watching

I have an interesting new tool: a StarAnalyzer diffraction grating which allows for simple analysis of point source spectroscopy with suitable software – the chart here was produces with RSpec. It’s not professional grade – there is no spectrographic slit let alone fibre optics to focus attention on a handful of pixel nevertheless it is possible to get interesting and useful data.

The chart is Vega’s spectrum (an A0 class star). We would expect it to have strong hydrogen lines and we see these at 4341 (H-gamma), 4862 (H-beta) and 6565 (H-alpha) angstrom.

I’ve also got a spectra for Mirach, a M0 class red giant which appears to be dominated by TiO lines – but I’m still working on this one.

My aim is to get sample spectra for each main star class (O, B, A, F, B, K and M) as well as Uranus / Neptune (ammonia / methane) and perhaps one or two exotic oddities …

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