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The Star Analyser ( or Rainbow Optics) grating is a great way to start! They just screw onto a standard eyepiece and will show the star's spectrum.

A small cylinderical lens is sometimes used behind the eyepiece to "widen" the spectrum - to make it easier to see, but this also spreads the light making the spectrum fainter.

A small prism mounted behind the eyepiece will also show stellar spectra, as will the Direct Vision type spectroscopes.

They show the whole spectrum from UV to IR.

The star analyser can be mounted infront of a webcam/ CCD to provide images of the spectrum. A graph ( for analysis) can be prepared using the freeware VisualSpec program.

The resolution of all these types ( as there is no slit invloved) is limited by the linear size of the star image, hence a low f ratio ( f5 etc) can give better resolution as the star images are smaller.

Hope this helps,


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