Physics

About the department

spectrometer fitted to the 16 inch telescope

Astronomical spectroscopy

At the physics observatory we have a low resolution spectrometer that is used to investigate the visible spectrum of astronomical objects and can be fitted to the 16 inch Meade telescope. With the use of a spectrometer on the telescope we are able to observe an objects spectrum. From this spectrum we can gain detailed information about an objects chemical makeup and any radial velocity as a result of spectral line shifts. All elements or molecules emit and absorb, known as emission and absorption lines, at precise frequencies and it is these finger prints that allows us to determine whether other planets have water or stars in different classes display diverse differences in the elements that make them.