Amateur spectroscopy has been of special interest since being introduced
to astrophysics and the science of light many years ago. Spectroscopy by definition is the decomposition of electromagnetic radiation (Visible light in this case) into the frequency domain. Each chemical element emits or absorbs radiation at defined frequencies hence the light source may then be analyzed for it's chemical makeup.With the advent of inexpensive CCD technology such as the Cookbook series of imagers and more recently webcams the amateur now has multiple options for the recording of astronomical spectra. Add to this some surplus
optics; a prism or grating and the amateur can not only explore this fascinating branch of
astronomy but also contribute as well to the professional community.
Supernova searches, general ongoing sky surveys and Be star hydrogen emission line measurements are being conducted by amateur spectroscopists. Redshift analysis of stellar objects is as well being conducted by several talented amateur's.
This Amateur Spectroscopy site documents the tools and results obtained using both objective prism and grating based instrumentation. Both stellar spectra obtained by prisms and detailed solar spectrum studies demonstrate the variety of subjects obtainable without the necessity of expensive spectrographs, optical instrumentation and software.
a long way introducing spectroscopy as a rewarding
Some general metal working skills along with the means and willingness to perform some electronic camera surgery and acquiring a degree of proficiency with one of the many image processing packages available will go a long way introducing spectroscopy as a rewarding endeavor. Wavelength calibration and spectral comparison plots can be
accomplished using the freeware application Visual Spec.
The application is quite capable of calibrating both non-linear prism spectra as well as the mostly linear dispersion produced by a transmission or reflective type grating.
I've compiled a list of articles that have appeared in popular astronomy and scientific periodicals over the last 50 years or so, which cover various aspects of both amateur and professional stellar spectroscopy. The articles range from simple visual-based prism spectroscopes to more elaborate instruments employed by universities and
professional institutions. Several articles delve into quite well written descriptions of spectral classification and historical perspectives on spectroscopy in general.
A few articles do not necessarily relate specifically to spectroscopy but are informative.
To begin exploring this site I might recommend starting with these pages for some examples of
both solar and stellar
spectra obtainable with rather simple equipment described on these pages :
Examples of objective prism stellar spectra may be found here
Examples of grating spectrograph solar spectra may be found here
Also find below a list of spectroscopy related magazine articles as well as books that I've
found quite useful may be accessed on the following pages:
A three page periodical publication article list may be accessed here
A short selection of spectroscopy related books is located here
Amateur Spectroscopy Primary Page Links
Recent News and Notes
A grating spectrograph for amateur spectroscopy
A grating spectrograph for amateur spectroscopy - pedestal mounting
A grating spectrograph for amateur spectroscopy part II
A grating spectrograph for amateur spectroscopy part III
A grating spectrograph for amateur spectroscopy part IV
A grating spectrograph for amateur spectroscopy part V
Amateur spectroscopy periodical resources list
Amateur spectroscopy periodical resources list II
Amateur spectroscopy periodical resources list III
Cookbook211 equipment II
Objective Prism spectra
Solar spectrum - Table of Absorption line identification
Solar Spectra with a slit Spectrograph
Solar Spectra with a slit Spectrograph part II
Solar Spectra with a slit Spectrograph part III
Neon calibration lamp spectra and profile plots
Amateur spectroscopy and science links
About the Author
Amateur spectroscopy site awards
Amateur spectroscopy site awards II
Amateur spectroscopy site awards III
LED oscilloscope project
Amateur Spectroscopy Guestbook
Amateur Spectroscopy copyright conditions
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Amateur Spectroscopy sitemap
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Copyright© 1996-2009 by Randy Lauderbaugh