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AMATEUR SPECTROSCOPY. By Keith Schlottman Presented at Texas Star Party 05/16/07. Have You Ever Used Spectroscopy?. Used a Nebula Filter?. Noticed that Vega is Bluish and Arcturus is Reddish?. Seen a Rainbow?. Viewed the Sun in H-Alpha?. The Spectrum Tells A Story. Stars

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Presentation Transcript
amateur spectroscopy



Keith Schlottman

Presented at Texas Star Party 05/16/07

have you ever used spectroscopy
Have You Ever Used Spectroscopy?

Used a Nebula Filter?

Noticed that Vega is Bluish and Arcturus is Reddish?

Seen a Rainbow?

Viewed the Sun in H-Alpha?

the spectrum tells a story
The Spectrum Tells A Story
  • Stars
    • Stellar classifications / HR Diagram
    • Age of star
    • Surface gravity
    • Pressure
    • Surface temperature
    • Radial velocity
    • Identify spectroscopic binaries
  • Other Objects
    • Galactic and Quasar redshifts
    • Nebular compositions
    • Comets and Planets
equipment visual spectroscopy
Equipment – Visual Spectroscopy
  • Prism
  • CD-ROM
  • Project Star Spectrometer
  • Naked Eye (Rainbows & Moonbows)
equipment telescopic spectrographs
Equipment – Telescopic Spectrographs
  • More Expensive
      • SBIG SGS
      • LHIRES III
      • Baader DADOS
      • Sivo Scientific Nu-View II
  • Moderately Expensive
      • SBIG DSS-7
  • Less Expensive
      • DG Spectrum Filters
      • Rainbow Optics Star Spectroscopes
      • Rigel Systems RS-Spectroscope
      • Paton Hawksley Star Analyser
      • Build Your Own
comparison of 4 spectrographs
Comparison of 4 Spectrographs

Information based on my experience and manufacturer claims, may not be 100% accurate

acquiring data with the sgs
Acquiring Data With the SGS
  • Use CCDSoft
  • Guide on Slit
  • Binning 1x4
  • Note that images are monochrome!
processing data
Processing Data
  • Dark Subtract, Median Combine (CCDStack)
  • Rotate if Low-Res Mode (IRIS)
  • Wavelength Calibration (vSpec)
  • Flux Calibration for CCD Response (equivalent to Flat Field)
wavelength calibration h
Wavelength Calibration - H

Edmund Scientific

Lamps are used

spectral types
Spectral Types

Spectra taken with

The SBIG SGS on a 12”

LX-200GPS from my

Tucson backyard on

October 16 & 17, 2006.



emission nebula
Emission Nebula

The OIII emission lines were thought to be a new element in the early 20th century, “Nebulium”.

pro am collaborations
Pro-Am Collaborations

Amateur spectroscopists were asked to obtain data on this star, which was a target for the COROT satellite.

t tauri
T Tauri

A very young star, still undergoing contraction.

texas star party 2007
Texas Star Party 2007

This data was obtained early Monday morning at TSP Upper Field.

Blueshifted absorption feature provides a basis for calculating radial velocity of the expanding shell.

Preliminary calculation from this data is

~ 200 km/sec.

dg spectrum filter
DG Spectrum Filter
  • Zero and First Order on Main Chip


  • Use Known Lines to Calibrate in vSpec
the easiest spectrum to observe no equipment necessary
The Easiest Spectrum to Observe –No Equipment Necessary!

For more information see: