A colorful spectrum like the one at the top of this page can rightly be called a “fingerprint of a star.” Spectra like this one reveal the composition, temperature, and movement of stars. In the past, only professionals had the skill and equipment to study spectra. Recently, the cost and complexity of the necessary hardware and software has dropped enormously. Today, you can easily study the spectra of stars and planets with a minimum of expense. If you have a telescope and a CCD camera (even a webcam or DSLR), then all you need is an inexpensive Star Analyser grating and the RSpec software. It’s an exciting pursuit. We invite you to join the growing number of amateur astronomers who have discovered the thrilling adventure of spectroscopy!
We’re pleased to announce that Sky & Telescope Magazine has given the RSpec software their “Hot Product 2012″ award for product excellence.
Earlier this year, Tom Field, the author of RSpec, was also interviewed by Sky & Telescope Magazine. Click on the image below to view a short video where he explains how to get started and the wonderful results you can get on a small backyard telescope. Dark skies and big telescopes aren’t necessary! You can probably get great spectra with your current setup, even from the suburbs.
RSpec is a program that enables you to rapidly go from a raw spectrum to a calibrated profile graph – in real-time. Now you can see a star or planet’s spectrum graph instantly, right at your telescope! No more waiting until later to see if you got the spectrum you hoped for.
Getting started in spectroscopy is easy. With either a Star Analyser (available from us here) or Rainbow Optics Star Spectroscope grating attached to almost any camera or telescope, you’ll be able to easily see the spectra of distant stars. You can even use an unguided DSLR camera — no telescope needed.
Don’t take our word for it — the video below shows the spectra of a bright star taken at 5 frames/second using just a video camera!
For many years, creating an astronomical profile graph from a spectrum was a painful trial-and-error process. But, now, because RSpec displays your profile graph immediately, these kinds of problems no long occur:
And, frankly, no one likes the morning after! Astronomy is supposed to be fun! But, old-fashioned work-flow made it a struggle to convert your images to calibrated spectra. Now, with RSpec, you can go from a raw image to a calibrated profile graph in a few seconds!
Click on the image below to watch a one-minute video that shows a live spectrum in RSpec:
Want to see what else you can do in spectroscopy? Check out our Sample Project page.
See RSpec in the news: link.
To view additional videos, click here.
To read more about RSpec, click here.