Spectral Techniques

Part of the Patrick Moore’s Practical Astronomy Series book series (PATRICKMOORE)


To squeeze the last drop of information out of a star’s spectrum sophisticated professional or internationally supported astronomical telescopes and detectors are essential. However, very satisfying and information-packed spectra can easily be obtained by the rank amateur. Prisms can be attached to cameras to photograph spectra, but even simpler is the use of the common CD, a compact disc, that relies on reflection and diffraction. A simple explanation of diffraction is given. With a little dedication and care stunning pictures of spectra containing many sharp Fraunhofer lines can be obtained using the “cereal box” technique. Carry it around to capture the colors and lines from street lamps, low energy light bulbs, the Sun (with great care!), and any other source of light. Spend a little money to obtain a diffraction grating and improve the image resolution.


Soap Bubble Wave Interference Order Spectrum Sodium Lamp Fraunhofer Line 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.OrpingtonUK

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