Self-made spectrography

Spectrometry made by yourself

Who could have guessed that the pure physics theory from the past lesson finds its way into practice so quickly. But if the topic is "quantum and atomic physics", the assumption would probably be obvious to also find references to astronomy. Because ultimately, the entire, unimaginably large, universe is just as built on the smallest particle.


With the newly acquired Star Analyzer (SA-100) we were able, as the name suggests, to make a spectral analysis of Vega Vega. The 25,05Lj removed main row star in the constellation Lyre, because of its position in the sky a simple implementation to, as it only meant for us to target him.


As far as the physics of this procedure is concerned:

Stars emit light = photons, which, depending on the wavelength, have a certain energy which can only be achieved by this one wavelength. When photons hit atoms, their electrons are excited, ie brought to a higher energy level (a so-called quantum jump).


As can be seen here, the excitation also goes back and thus the atom emits light

This requires a certain amount of energy, but it must not be too much or too little energy (each jump has a fixed energy) Since the energies for the jumps also differ between the atoms, each jump in the associated atom can be assigned ,


The energy for these jumps can be calculated and thus transferred to a wavelength of the photon. If gaps then appear in the completely complete spectrum of light, it can be said exactly that it was triggered by the element XY jumping from A to B.


In addition, the (minimum) temperature of a star can also be explored, because jumps are possible even from an excited state in a more excited state, but only when atoms are already excited by high temperatures! These temperatures are also different from atom to atom and therefore allow clear conclusions. The jump itself happens again through photons, which again shows a clearly defined gap in the spectrum.

=> The absorption spectrum is the fingerprint of a star


From theory to practice:

As already mentioned, we tried our first spectral photography on Stern Wega, which is in a sense funny, since it is the first photographed star. Due to its short distance, it is only minimally affected by the redshift. With bare eyes, the gas ball appears to us in bluish-white light, typical of a main sequence star of the class A.


View on Wega through the analyzer

As a result, nothing changes in terms of shooting technique, so after scanning the individual star, we deal with other objects in the sky. The following day we evaluated our results:

Astrophysics can look like that!

In this way we found, for example, identify large parts of the Balmer series including Hε (620); Hγ (800), Hβ (850) and also metals such as iron, titanium, calcium, sodium.


Physics is not "gray matter" but literally colorful in all colors of the universe. Even if the same principle is responsible for the radiation in each star, no star is the same as the other. In other words: enough and different analysis material (alone 500 billion suns in the Milky Way)

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