Spectroscopy. The Key To The Stars - Reading The Lines In Stellar Spectra


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The Spectra of Stars (and Brown Dwarfs)

Summing Up: Recommended.


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General readers; lower-division undergraduates. The main purpose of the book is to describe the physics and the physical processes behind the stellar spectra. The amateur astronomers, who are not familiar with physics or who have forgotten the essentials of this science, will read it … with interest and pleasure.

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Absorption and Emission Lines

Add to Cart Add to Cart. White light what we call visible or optical light can be split up into its constituent colors easily and with a familiar result: the rainbow.


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  • Links to useful resources – RSpec / Real-time Spectroscopy.
  • Interpreting Stellar Spectra?

All we have to do is use a slit to focus a narrow beam of the light at a prism. This setup is actually a basic spectrometer.

Spectroscopy: The Key to the Stars : Reading the Lines in Stellar Spectra

The resultant rainbow is really a continuous spectrum that shows us the different energies of light from red to blue present in visible light. But the electromagnetic spectrum encompasses more than just optical light.

Introductory Astronomy: Different Types of Spectra

It covers all energies of light, extending from low-energy radio waves, to microwaves, to infrared, to optical light, to ultraviolet, to very high-energy X-rays and gamma rays. Three types of spectra: continuous, emission line and absorption. Each element in the periodic table can appear in gaseous form and will produce a series of bright lines unique to that element.

Hydrogen will not look like helium which will not look like carbon which will not look like iron Thus, astronomers can identify what kinds of stuff are in stars from the lines they find in the star's spectrum. This type of study is called spectroscopy. The science of spectroscopy is quite sophisticated. From spectral lines astronomers can determine not only the element, but the temperature and density of that element in the star.

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The spectral line also can tell us about any magnetic field of the star. The width of the line can tell us how fast the material is moving.

Reading the Lines in Stellar Spectra

We can learn about winds in stars from this. If the lines shift back and forth we can learn that the star may be orbiting another star. We can estimate the mass and size of the star from this.

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Spectral Lines in Stars - Absorbtion and Emission

If the lines grow and fade in strength we can learn about the physical changes in the star. Spectral information can also tell us about material around stars. This material may be falling onto the star from a doughnut-shaped disk around the star called an accretion disk. These disks often form around a neutron star or black hole. The light from the stuff between the stars allows astronomers to study the interstellar medium ISM.

Spectroscopy. The Key To The Stars - Reading The Lines In Stellar Spectra Spectroscopy. The Key To The Stars - Reading The Lines In Stellar Spectra
Spectroscopy. The Key To The Stars - Reading The Lines In Stellar Spectra Spectroscopy. The Key To The Stars - Reading The Lines In Stellar Spectra
Spectroscopy. The Key To The Stars - Reading The Lines In Stellar Spectra Spectroscopy. The Key To The Stars - Reading The Lines In Stellar Spectra
Spectroscopy. The Key To The Stars - Reading The Lines In Stellar Spectra Spectroscopy. The Key To The Stars - Reading The Lines In Stellar Spectra
Spectroscopy. The Key To The Stars - Reading The Lines In Stellar Spectra Spectroscopy. The Key To The Stars - Reading The Lines In Stellar Spectra
Spectroscopy. The Key To The Stars - Reading The Lines In Stellar Spectra Spectroscopy. The Key To The Stars - Reading The Lines In Stellar Spectra
Spectroscopy. The Key To The Stars - Reading The Lines In Stellar Spectra Spectroscopy. The Key To The Stars - Reading The Lines In Stellar Spectra
Spectroscopy. The Key To The Stars - Reading The Lines In Stellar Spectra Spectroscopy. The Key To The Stars - Reading The Lines In Stellar Spectra
Spectroscopy. The Key To The Stars - Reading The Lines In Stellar Spectra

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