NSO launches new stellar spectroscopy activity

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Examples of Stellar Spectra

Following the installation of a research-grade spectrograph on the Liverpool Telescope, we have just added a new 90 minute workshop to investigate the appearance of stellar spectra and to classify stars according to features in those spectra.

The workshop begins with a basic introduction to spectroscopy, before providing participants with 2-D (wavelength vs intensity) spectra extracted from the raw data of nine different classes of stars. Students will then be asked to plot these spectra using a spreadsheet, investigate the differences between the supplied classes of stars, and then classify two mystery stellar spectra according to what they have learnt.

The workshop requires some understanding of atomic energy levels and the creation of photons, so may only be suitable for older students (14+). For more information, and to try out the activity, please go to the following link:

Stellar Spectroscopy and Classification Activity

Enjoy and Good Luck !