2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

Evaluation of a Fiber Optic Spectrometer for Stellar Spectroscopy
Emily Richens
Dr. Matthew M. Beaky, Faculty Mentor

The study of light spectra, spectroscopy, is an important tool in astronomy because of the wealth of information it reveals about the physical nature of stars. Fiber optics are being used more commonly in spectroscopy today, making spectrometers smaller, less expensive, and more practical than traditional stellar spectrometers. In this project, we explored the capabilities and limitations of the Ocean Optics USB4000 Fiber Optic Spectrometer. One main constraint was anticipated to be the amount of dark noise present in the collected spectra. Tests were carried out using the 14-inch telescope at the Truman State University Observatory to determine the effects of dark noise on stellar spectra. Efforts to reduce the dark noise resulted in a significant improvement in the quality of the measured spectra. Our results show that the Ocean Optics USB4000 spectrometer has potential for stellar spectroscopy, but is best suited to the study of only the brightest stars.

Keywords: astronomy, spectroscopy, spectrometer, stellar spectra

Topic(s):Astronomy

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 10-3
Location: SUB-GEO
Time: 4:15

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