6.3  Spectrum Analysis

Here is where you can help me out. There are seven star spectra that need to be analyzed for any recognizable elements.  Click on one of the pink triangles in the sky map above to make a star's spectrum  appear in a pop-up window. Compare this spectrum with the spectra of Alpha Centauri and Sigma2 Coronae Borealis. 

Star Templates

Alpha Centauri Sigma2 Coronae Borealis Periodic Table

Do you see any peaks in the star's spectrum that are at the same frequency as the peaks in the spectrum  of Alpha Centauri? What elements are associated with these peaks? Make a list of all of the elements that you can identify in the report section of each spectrum. If you can, analyze the spectra for all of the stars on this page. When you have analyzed the individual star spectra, please summarize your findings by answering these questions:

  • What elements are the most common in these spectra? 
  • What elements are the least common? 
  • Which elements do you think are from the star itself, and which elements might be from interstellar gaseous clouds? 

Answer these questions for each star's spectrum and press Submit to send your information to the final report (You can take a look at a sample report first).

When you are through, you can
view the report that you have made. Thank you very much for your effort. I hope that you now have a better understanding of some of the work that astrophysicists do. If you have found this interesting, you can continue to study astronomy later in school, in college, and of course, on your own.

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