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Spectroscopy for Amateurs

Welcome to my pages dedicated to spectroscopy.  These pages will show you how I started.  It will show you where I have been and the challenges I have encountered.  It will keep you up to date with where I am at right now.   Lastly, it will give you an idea where I am headed and the vast choices that are available to you when doing spectroscopy science with your telescope.


How I Started

You're probably thinking what would drive a person to want to do spectroscopy.  Sounds way too complex.  Why bother.  Let the professional people do it.  As you will see there is a need for the amateur astronomer to contribute to the real science out there. 

My Current Equipment

This will show you what equipment I use the capture the photons of light before it is processed into readable calibrated data.  I'm not a Ph.D., nor a rocket scientist, but I have been known to pull a wrench or two, this is how I build the equipment to get the job done.

Eclipsing Binary Stars

As their name indicates, these stars rotate around each other blocking each other out from our line of sight.  They vary in size and rotation speed.  Measuring the radial velocity of the binary stars is one of the challenges.

Be Stars

Be stars are a class type of  B star with emission and absorption lines in the hydrogen-alpha region due to discs of circumstellar material.   Like most stars, they are not fully understood.

Novas / Supernovas

It was not until the 1920s that it was realized that there was a difference between novas and supernovas.  Novas are stars that suddenly brighten.  Supernovas also brighten and  may rival the brightness of the galaxy it resides in.  Supernovae completely devastates the star, forming heavy elements because of the high temperature and then spewing these elements out into space.

Wolf-Rayet Stars

This type of class O star exhibits numerous broad emission bands.  Near infrared data collection would be the challenge.  They loose mass so rapidly that about all we can see is the spectrum of the lower density out flowing gas.

Carbon Stars

Stars in this phase are known as asymptotic gaint branch (AGB) stars. The particular internal structure of AGB stars is an inert, partially degenerate carbon-oxygen  core surrounded by two burning shells, one of Helium and a second, more external, of Hydrogen, operating alternately. Numerous chemical and spctroscopic pecularities are found in this evolutionary phase of AGB's


All the images in this site are Copyright 1999-2022 by Kevin Hearst.
Commercial use of these images without the prior written consent or knowledge of the author is strictly prohibited.