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Walking on the Moon

Question about Star Analyzer

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Hi all:

I've been considering experimenting with spectroscopy but have been put off by the steep prices of most equipment on the market. The Star Analyser is much more affordable, but I wanted to ask what can realistically be done with slitless, low res spectroscopy. For example, is worthwhile spectral analysis of variable stars within its scope, or does that require more high end equipment? Would be interested to know what those with more experience think before i decide to get one.

Also, for the time being I'd be using a DSLR rather than CCD. This is obviously going to limit further what I can do, but I'd like to get a feel of what the practical extent of this limitation is. What would I be able to do - and not be able to do - with that proposed set up?



Edited by billyharris72
Added DSLR
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The Star Analyser grating is a great starting point.

I call it "Spectroscopy 101"

Although the lo resolution limits the scientific work (Having said that, Torsten H. is obtaining some excellent results with his 8"f5 and the DMK cameras)

it does allow you to gain the necessary experience in obtaining spectra and mastering the necessary processing steps to give a usable calibrated 1D fits profile.

(When used with a camera lens - as an objective grating - you can increase the resolution - the open aperture of 28mm limits the light gathering...)

I recommend and use John's BASS Project software


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I use a StarAnalyser 100 on my Evo 8 with 0.63 reducer. Last night I managed to get about a dozen spectra, and that will keep me busy for many hours using the BASS software. I find it fascinating to be able to capture genuine scientific data from stars which in some cases are hundreds of light years away.

When I started out I used a DSLR and got good results. I now use a mono GPCAM. There's a lot to learn, and I found Ken Harrison's book 'Grating Spectroscopes and How to use them' very helpful. Good luck, I'm sure you'll enjoy the whole process.


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I use the virtually identical one from Rainbow Optics over here in the US. I enjoy it very much, and it's possible to even do some imaging with these. Some good info to be found on their website:


And there's a book I must recommend to provide excellent information about these wonderful gadgets:

Grating Spectroscopes and How to Use Them - by Ken M. Harrison - published through Springer. It's a Patrick Moore 'Practical Astronomy Series' publishcation.



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My girlfriend and I also played a lot with the staranalyser 100, you might find our results in her website (it's in italian, but nowadays it's easy with google translate: http://www.alexstargazing.net/spectra.html ).

I also wrote a software on my own for spectra processing, but it's very early version, so for now I wouldn't really recommend it to you. I would like to have a go at this BASS software, but apparently its for members only (and I'm waiting for approval).

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1 minute ago, Merlin66 said:

BASS Project is downloadable from the forum files area.

If you have a problem PM or email me for a copy.


I know, it's written on the group homepage.. Problem is, you have to be a member, it's not a public section, and to be a member you need to wait for admin approval...

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