The June General Meeting will be at Regis Hall, St. Ignatius College tomorrow night, Tuesday the 19th of June, commencing at 7:30 PM. Our speaker will be Tom Field, from RSpec-Astro in Seattle by webmeeting, who will talk about amateur spectroscopy. His abstract follows:
Title: “You Can Almost Touch the Stars!”
Even if you wanted to touch a star, they’re impossibly distant. But despite these great distances, researchers have learned a great deal about quite a few stars. How? The most common method used to study the stars is called spectroscopy, which is the art and science of analyzing the colorful rainbow spectrum produced by a prism-like device.
Until recently, spectroscopy was too expensive and too complicated for all but a handful of amateurs. Today, though, new tools make spectroscopy accessible to almost all of us. You no longer need a PhD, dark skies, long exposures, or enormous aperture! With your current telescope and FITS camera (or a simple web cam or even a DSLR without a telescope) you can now easily study the stars yourself. Wouldn’t you like to detect the atmosphere on Neptune or the red shift of a quasar right from your own backyard?!
This talk, with lots of interesting examples, will show you what it’s all about, help you understand how spectroscopy is used in research. And, it will show you how to get started.