Spectroscopy: Unlocking the Secret in Starlight

Spectroscopy is a key tool in astronomy. By obtaining and analysing the spectrum from a distant object astronomers can identify what type of object it is and determine a wealth of characteristics for the object. These include its effective temperature, how fast it is rotating and whether it is moving towards or away from us, how large and dense it is and what it is made of. Within the last decade planets beyond our Solar System have been discovered via their effect on the parent star's spectrum.

Continuous spectrum

Syllabus Requirements

3. Spectroscopy is a vital tool for astronomers and provides a wealth of information

Physics Stage 6 Syllabus © Copyright 2002 The State of New South Wales (Board of Studies).

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