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Learning my Lines




Well eventually, I think I managed to get my 'thinking' head around some of the basics of using Visual Spec software for producing and calibrating a line spectrum of the bright star Vega. 

About 8 weeks ago, I affixed my homemade spectrometer to the business end of my 127mm refractor and obtained some faint and blurry video of Alpha Lyrae and its first order spectrum.  Anyway time passes and after a lot of fiddling about and numerous software crashes, I managed to plot a wiggly line and identify three of the Balmer Series Hydrogen Absorption lines ( well I think I did or it could all be wishfull thinking). The thing is I've ended up with something and hopefully its a calibrated spectrum of Vega.  I leave you to be the judge?

I tried using Wiens Law and my spectrum to calculate Vega's temperature and was at least half the published temperature of 9600K.  I concluded that Vega does not therefore radiate energy as a 'Blackbody'.

Anyway this small scientific step has wetted my appetite for spectra and I have some virgin video of Deneb and Altair to play with which at my current rate of progress should keep me busy until Boxing Day.  I am also considering a new spectrometer design - using a camera with better controls and a a bigger chip. This could see me undertaking some 'serious shed action' after Christmas. More glue Santa if you please!


Alpa Lyra20_15_10z_g3_b3_ap2rotate100vega02_2hydrogen02.png



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