Beginners Spectroscopy

Spectroscopy is used by astronomers to analyze the chemical composition, temperature, density, relative motion, and distance of stars,nebulas, galaxies, and other bodies.  Backyard astronomers may use spectroscopy tools and techniques in their own personal explorations of the universe as well. This presentation will provide an introduction to spectroscopy and some of the tools that are available to amateurs.  

Data from a low resolution spectrograph, the Star Analyzer, will be used to demonstrate how to capture, calibrate, and correct for instrument response. Some example explorations that have been done with the Star Analyzer will be shown.

Several medium and high resolution spectragraphs are available commercially for backyard telescopes. Such instruments may be constructed as a DIY project for less money. Some of the design considerations and tradeoffs involved in building your own will be presented.  

Vern began observing at age 9 and built several telescopes while in grade school,  high school, and in college.  He has had a life-long interest in astronomy.  He is president of the Longmont Astronomical Society and webmaster for the Astronomical League. He has BS degrees in electrical engineering and computer science and MS degree in computer information systems.  In the past he worked for organizations in a variety of engineering roles in controls, instrumentation, electronics, and  software fields; he is now retired. 

The meeting will be at the IHOP Restaurant, 2040 Ken Pratt Boulevard, Longmont. Please join us for coffee, dinner, or just desert around 6 pm; The general meeting and presentation will begin at 7 pm.
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