All about the stars

By Henry Edgington, Max Kaplan, and Charlie Williams


Light is our measuring tool for the stars. We use the distance light travels in a year, second, or minute.


With different spectra of light visible you can tell what elements a light source, generally a star, is made of.

How to use a Spectroscope.

A spectroscope is a simple device containing diffraction grating and a mirror. The diffraction grating splits the light coming in through one end of the spectroscope into different wavelengths and visible colors. When you see only the colors orange, teal, indigo, and violet all in separated slivers you know that your looking at hydrogen.

Elemental Fingerprints

Each element when it creates light has a specific color. For example the light spectrum of helium is violet teal green yellow orange then red in slivers from right to left.

Astronomers identify the elemental make up of stars through studying the light spectra of stars.



An emission spectrum is a spectrum where there are thin lines of the light spectrum displayed.


A continuous spectrum is that of a light source that has no obstructions. An example is a rainbow.
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An absorption spectrum is shown below, it is where a nearly full spectrum is shown with the exception of many small lines.
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Neon has an emission spectrum
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Krypton has an absorption spectrum
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Nitrogen has an absorption spectrum
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