Are stellar spectra unique enough that they could be used to identify particular stars? If so, has any attempt been made to use them for navigation or equipment alignment?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Why would you need to identify stars by their spectrum? It is easy enough to identify stars by their position in the sky. $\endgroup$ – James K Dec 18 '18 at 21:03
  • $\begingroup$ @JamesK I didn't ask if I needed to. I asked if it's possible. $\endgroup$ – Alphecca Dec 18 '18 at 22:54

No, you can't use them to identify your star. Indeed, you have too many stars in the universe. Even in our galaxy you can find two stars which have pretty much the same spectrum. You can classify the star though.

There is another problem with redshift and blueshift. It change the spectrum of the star depending its movement.

  • $\begingroup$ The redshift or blueshift does not change the spectrum, it merely shifts it and can of course be corrected. $\endgroup$ – Rob Jeffries Dec 19 '18 at 15:12

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.