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Why Spectra are Important!

Information Section

  • The over all view of the radiation coming from a star
    identifies the elements in that star.
  • Elements in a star can be identified by using spectroscopy. Spectroscopy is related to the scattering of an object's light into its component colors.
  • Spectroscopy is helpful to astronomers because it helps show them what an object is made of, its temperature, density, and its motion.
  • An object an emit continuous, emission and absorption spectras.
  • Absorption spectrum is seen in stars and in the galaxy.
  • A Continuous Spectrum is an unbroken band of colors and comes from hot compressed gas or glowing solid.
  • Emission Spectrum is a black background with unevenly spaced lines of color which come from glowing gas.
  • Absorption Spectrum is a colorful background with unevenly spaced black lines. This will occur when hot gasses pass through the cool outer layer of a star.
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How to Use a Sprectroscope

To use a spectroscope you must look through a small square on the top which acts like a prism and spreads out the light into different wavelengths. When you look through that square you will see a thin slit in the other end. If the light is going through that slit you will see the different colors and which numbers they fall on.
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