Questions about the observed frequency range of the electromagnetic radiation of a celestrial object.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

10
votes
3answers
622 views

How to detect emission lines in optical spectra?

Is there any handy module to detect emission lines in a spectrum like one we get from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS)? You can see there are many emission lines like Ha,OI in the spectrum below. ...
8
votes
1answer
204 views

What is the Lyman Alpha forest Used For?

The Lyman-alpha forest is an interesting feature found in the spectra of sufficiently distant objects. This series of absorption lines extends over a range of frequencies, and are a result of the ...
5
votes
2answers
115 views

Typical wavelength of solar flare

I read that solar flares are customarily viewed in H-alpha light, as a temporary brightening of a small portion of chromosphere. What all can be interpreted from this? Is it because, energy of the ...
4
votes
1answer
52 views

What is an “arc” spectrum ?

I sometimes hear about astronomers using an arc spectrum to calibrate observations. For example a "He-Ar arc spectrum". What is an "arc" in this context? I assume it's nothing got to do with angles (...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

How to measure distances to stars by means of spectroscopic parallaxes?

How to measure distances to stars by means of spectroscopic parallaxes on practice? What is the accuracy of measuring distances using this method compared with distances based on HIPPARCOS ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

How do you estimate the error on the height/width of a Gaussian?

I'm trying to fit Gaussians to several lines in a spectrum that I have. Some of them overlap with one another, causing the fitting program that I'm using to not be able to give reasonable estimates ...
2
votes
2answers
59 views

How to disentangle a very distant star's relative velocity vs. redshift distance

We measure a star's relative velocity towards or away from us via its Doppler-shifted spectrum. This is also how we measure the distance of very distant stars: measuring the shifts in the spectrum ...
2
votes
2answers
154 views

about H$_\alpha$ and H$_\beta$ lines in astronomical objects' spectra

Generally there may be some line ratio between the two lines. If H$\alpha$ is strong, it is quite possible we can see H$_\beta$ too. Is it possible we can see H$_\beta$, but can not see H$_\alpha$? ...
2
votes
2answers
131 views

Why isn't everything yellow(ish)?

I understand that - although appearing yellow - the sun is white. And that this is because the other light colours are scattered by the atmosphere. For example: Google image search for "The Sun from ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Invisible in visible light but visible in non-visible light?

This may be a stupid question, but I've been wondering this for a while and haven't yet found a solid answer. I'm worried the answer will be something along the lines of "of course not, you dummy" but ...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

In what manner is the spectrum of a black body really a continuum?

Usually they say the spectrum of a black body is a continuum and emits radiation at every frequency. Is it really a continuum like a line or are there (small) intervals? For example, can a body emit ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

Definition question: continuum-subtracted spectrum

What is the exact definition of a "continuum-subtracted spectrum", such that one finds in SDSS spectra? http://classic.sdss.org/dr7/dm/flatFiles/spSpec.html#specmask Is there a definition somewhere?...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

Broadband spectrum of Sun

Broadband spectrum is one which is inclusive of all the observed wavelength ranges. In the case of the BB spectra of our Sun, there is a sharp (non-differentiable) kink in the curve in the UV-range (...
2
votes
0answers
48 views

Spectral analysis of AGN (velocity dispersion of galaxy absorption, doppler shifts)

I was wondering what parameters I need to know/measure to calculate the velocity dispersion of a galaxy, specifically an AGN. Also, I have spectra where there are blueshifted and redshifted ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

What is this graph showing?

This is from the NED What do these three titles mean? log fb (Jy) MRK 1014 Log v (HZ) Why is there LINE,LINE,...
1
vote
1answer
122 views

How do we know which elements are in a galaxy spectra?

I know that each element has it's own distinct spectra (this is a good site that lists them: Periodic Table) but when looking at a spectra of a galaxy (or even a star) how do we match those elements ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

Are hot stars like O-type stars entirely composed of helium?

Hot stars like O-type stars show no hydrogen in their spectra. Does this mean they are made entirely of helium? Any explanation would be really helpful.
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Why do we observe spectral lines of specific energy?

The basis of my confusion is that atomic orbitals, even when described accurately by quantum numbers, have definite energies, meaning they represent energy eigenstates of the wave function. They're ...
1
vote
1answer
26 views

In the chromoscope, what is the X-ray source between Ophiuchus, Libra and Scorpius?

http://www.chromoscope.net/ is a nice toy. Pressing 'L' shows the constellations as guide. There's a bright X-ray source between Ophiuchus, Libra and Scorpius. In Hydrogen-Alpha there are two ...
1
vote
0answers
63 views

Why does spectral class and U-V colour correlate slightly differently for main sequence, giant and supergiant stars?

In this diagram the $x$-axis is spectral type for stars and the $y$-axis is B-V colour. Taking Series 1 as the Main Sequence, Series 2 as Giants and Series 3 as Super-giants. Why the spectral class ...
0
votes
2answers
38 views

Reference for broader spectral lines?

I'm looking for some reference listing spectral lines outside the visible spectrum. (In particular, I'm looking for an element or compound that emits strongly in the 700-900nm range.)
0
votes
0answers
15 views

How long do hot X-ray sources last?

Some X-ray sources in nebulae are caused by hot materials in the millions of degrees that formed in supernovae. What's the cooling rate of this stuff? How long does it stay this hot? I would expect ...