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Prologue

Designer: Eric Kimsey


The following powerpoint presentation was
designed to fulfill the requirements of the TAPS
program at Jefferson Labs in Newport News, VA
summer 2006.
This presentation was also designed to
accompany and expound upon the topic of Light
and the Electromagnetic Spectrum as required by
the state of Virginia Physical Science SOLs
(PS.9c).

Spectroscopy
A Tool of Astronomers

Definitions
Spectroscopy- the study of the light
from an object.
Spectrometer- an instrument which
spreads out light making a spectra.
Spectra- range of electromagnetic
energy separated by wavelength.

Astronomers use
spectroscopy because it
allows them to determine
the makeup of stars
without having to be
present to take samples.

Studying an objects spectra


can tell scientists the
composition of an object, its
temperature, its density and
its motion.

Two modern applications of


spectroscopy in space

Mars Exploration Mission


The Mars Exploration Rovers were launched with the goal of
searching for and analyzing rock and soils on Mars. They utilized
several spectrometers to analyze samples.

Mini-TES: miniature thermal emission


spectrometer (examine rock, soil &
atmosphere)
MB: Mossbauer Spectrometer
(examine mineralogy of rocks &
soils)
APXS: Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer
(analyze elements in rocks & soils)

Cassini-Hyugens Mission
Mission: to gather information
on Titan (Saturns moon).

VIMS: Visual and Infrared


Mapping Spectrometer (gather
data about surface, rings &
atmosphere of Titan and
Saturn).
CIRS: Composite Infrared
Spectrometer (searches for
heat and by that gather
information on the objects
composition.

2 Basic Types of Spectra


Continuous- energy of all
wavelengths
Discrete- energy at a particular
wavelength
Emission or bright lines
Absorption or dark lines

Continuous Spectrum
Also called thermal
or blackbody
spectra
Spectra of stars,
planets, moons
Depends on
temperature
Ex: sunlight passing
through a prism

Continuous Spectrum
continued

Hotter objects
Shift toward this end
Longer
wavelength

Shorter
wavelength

Cooler objects
Shift toward this end

Discrete Spectrum

Absorption
Each element
has a unique
signature of
absorption
lines. That
pattern helps
scientists
identify the
element(s).

Ex: stars,
planets w/
atmospheres,
& galaxies

Spectra

Hot object

Cool,
thin gas

Absorption
spectrum

Discreet spectrum-

Emission

Again, the
pattern of the
lines
determines
the identity of
the element.

Ex: comets, nebula


& certain stars
Cold,
empty
space

Thin,hot
gas

Emission
spectrum
Spectra

Motion of Objects in Space


Compare the dark lines in the middle spectra to
the dark lines in the other two spectra.

Blue shift shows object is


moving toward the observer.

This shows the


normal position or
no motion.

This shows a red shift


meaning that the
object is moving away
from the observer.

Spectroscopy Lab
Determining the Spectra
of Certain Elements

What type of spectra


is shown here?

Continuous
Absorption
Emission

What type of spectra


is shown here?

Continuous
Absorption
Emission

Why does this picture


represent just the continuous
spectrum of light?

Light is just one portion of


the electromagnetic
spectrum.
Name 5 other parts of the
EM spectrum.

Acknowledgements

www.ipac.caltech.edu/Outreach/Edu/Spectra/spec.html
www.astronomynotes.com/lights4.htm
http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/spacecraft/instruments-cassini-cirs.cfm
http://pmo-sun.uoregon.edu/~astrosites.html
http://marsrovers.nasa.gov/overview

No way! Were you sleeping?


Back to question #1

YES, we have a winner!


To next question.

Pat yourself on the back!


Next question

That is a definite NO!


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