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Questions tagged [spectra]

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

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What is “g-98” in plots of stellar spectra?

I was looking to find some example carbon star spectra and came across this page on the Harvard website which shows several plots of carbon star spectra. The horizontal axis is labelled as wavelength ...
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Polarization of an emission line

Say I have a flux density spectrum of a galaxy, as well as polarization spectra for the object in U, Q, and P. I want to find the polarization of some emission line in the spectrum. First, I can fit a ...
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24 views

How to correct observed flux densities for redshift

Say I have a spectrum of a galaxy at a redshift $z$, in flux density units of erg/s/cm^2/Angstrom. I'd like to recover the spectrum (in the same flux density units) at z=0, i.e. at its rest ...
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23 views

Smoothing an SED with binning

I have an (observed) SED of a galaxy, and am attempting to match model SEDs to it. To do this I need to be able to see its shape better, which would involve some sort of smoothing of the spectrum. I ...
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31 views

Spectra from Temperature and Emission Measure [closed]

Having the solar flare fluxes on the two bands of GOES (0.05-0.4 nm and 0.1-0.8 nm) I need to calculate the flux between 0.05 and 0.2 nm.
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70 views

Conversion factors for flux

I have a flux value in the infrared band of 8 mJy at a wavelength of 80 microns that I want to translate into X-ray conventional ...
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1answer
42 views

Spectra and star identification [duplicate]

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?
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Why don't we see purple stars

I know that we don't see green stars because in blackbody radiation star doesn't produce one spectrum. The stars that have peaks in the green spectrum produce other spectrum in nearly same amout. ...
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1answer
143 views

Why the forbidden lines of [OIII],[NII] and [SII],[OII] are sensitive to electron temperature and electron density, respectively?

I am trying to understand the topic of "Metallicity estimates", either HII regions or planetary nebula. For this latter, the electron temperature (and density) must be known. I am studying the ...
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143 views

Temperature gradient in stars

It is a well known fact that in stars, there exists a temperature gradiënt. The observational reason is because we perceived spectral lines in the otherwise continuous spectrum of a star. If this ...
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1answer
121 views

Do narrow lines in the spectra of O- and B- type stars always indicate magnetic fields?

I was reading a paper on the differential emission measures of a set of hot O- and B- type stars. As the authors discuss in Section 3 (page 959), two stars, $\tau$ Sco and $\theta^1$ Ori C, have ...
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absorption line from the chromosphere

If I understand correctly, the H-alpha and Ca II K lines are absorption lines of the sun and allow to see the chromosphere. Following the Kirchhoff-Bunsen law, an absorption line is produced by a gas ...
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Where can I find a database of elemental spectra? [closed]

I know that spectroscopy can be used to analyze the light of stars to determine the elements causing their emissions in the visible spectrum, but this requires knowing the emission spectra of the ...
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56 views

Who first used two lambdas to typeset the wavelengths of a spectra line doublet?

Also what is the accepted or most common way to typeset the wavelengths of a doublet? e.g. lambdalambda-3727,3729 with or without a hyphen? and without the Angstrom symbol?
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1answer
264 views

In galaxy optical spectra, why are Hbeta and Hdelta sometimes absorption lines?

I've heard that $\mathrm{H\beta}$ and $\mathrm{H\delta}$ lines in galaxy spectra might be either emission lines or absorption lines, is that correct? From Wikipedia, Balmer lines are usually emission ...
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75 views

Source for Identification of Balmer Hydrogen Absorption Lines

I'm working on an assignment, where I have to classify stars using the raw data of the telescope. I'm now trying to calibrate the pixel to armstrong ratio, and for that I need to identify the ...
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1answer
252 views

How to shift AGN x-ray spectrum to rest frame from

I have limited information to shift a spectrum (in the x-ray 0.5-10 keV bandpass) at redshift z=2 to rest frame. I have a plot of normalized (photon) counts s$^{−1}$ keV$^{−1}$ by energy (keV), and so ...
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305 views

Why does higher surface gravity broaden spectral lines?

It's always made intuitive sense to me that a higher surface gravity leads to broader spectral lines from a star, but yesterday I realized that I don't have a physical explanation for why this is so. ...
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90 views

How did we differentiate lights from stars?

I got this question while watching the COSMOS TV series. I couldn't find the right answer in google. I read about Stellar classification and it states that we can classify the stars based on their ...
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1answer
69 views

How do elements with only one shell emit light? [closed]

Electrons move to higher energy levels and drop back (electron migration). When they drop levels, photons are emitted and the wavelength/frequency emitted is based on how many levels are dropped. My ...
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1answer
681 views

How to convert theoretical template spectrum from luminosity density to flux density units?

I'm working with galaxy spectral templates (e.g., Bruzual & Charlot 2003) which seem to always come with y-axis units of $L_{\odot}$/A and x-axis units of Angstroms. Thus the y-axis is a ...
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1answer
558 views

Why are O III lines so prominent in the spectra of emission nebulae when the amount of oxygen relative to hydrogen is a million times smaller?

Looking at spectra of emission nebulae like the Lagoon Nebula, the $[\text{O III}]$ lines are prominent in intensity. However, the abundance of oxygen is minuscule compared to hydrogen. How then are ...
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1answer
97 views

wavelength-based IFU data cubes VS velocity-based IFU data cubes

I have 2 simulated IFU data cubes of the same observation, let's say A and B. The 3rd dimension of cube A is in wavelengths. In order to create cube B I just rebinned cube A in log-wavelengths and ...
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1answer
403 views

What's the differences between one-dimensional spectrum and two-dimensional spectrum?

mostly, we use the one-dimensional spectrum. But sometimes we use two-dimensional spectrum, what's the differences between them?
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2answers
414 views

How do I understand a brown dwarf with a M-type spectrum?

There are a large fraction of M dwarfs which are claimed to be brown dwarfs. Why do we still use M-type and not create a new stellar type like L, T and Y? The main signature of M is TiO absorption ...
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Why are wavelengths shorter than visible light neglected by new telescopes?

The diagram below, which I stole from this post by @HDE226868, shows that angular resolution as a function of wavelength suddenly drops by three orders of magnitudes from visible to UV-light. The ...
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3answers
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How to calculate the S/N of IFU or long-slit galaxy observations

I would like to calculate the Signal-to-Noise ratio (SNR) of long-slit or integral field unit (IFU) observations of H$\alpha$ emission. I can calculate the SNR or each individual spectrum, just fine. ...
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1answer
144 views

What (actually) does “peculiar periodic spectral modulations” refer to in this preprint?

I saw this ArXiv preprint after reading about it in the popular media. I can not even understand the beginning of the introduction (much less the whole paper): INTRODUCTION A Fourier ...
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2answers
215 views

Which measurements have shown that 2014 MU69 is red? (New Horizons' next target)

The recent NASA feature article New Horizons: Possible Clouds on Pluto, Next Target is Reddish MU69 is actually the smallest KBO to have its color measured – and scientists have used that data to ...
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1answer
1k views

How deep is the “A” Fraunhofer line in the solar spectrum? Is it from the Sun's or Earth's atmosphere?

Question: Where can I see - or even download - a fairly high resolution (~0.1 nm) solar spectrum at zero air mass - in other words from space without absorption and other features from the Earth's ...
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1answer
135 views

Extraction of error spectrum in Sloan Digital Sky Survey

I need to know does SDSS spectrum contains error spectrum as well? http://www.sdss.org/dr12/spectro/spectro_basics/#AbouttheSpectra The above link says, further HDU's contain error spectrum and than ...
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1answer
539 views

Converting ångström spectral dimension to galaxy speed (km/s)

I have a spectral cube (in FITS format) whose spectral dimension is in ångströms. The sampling along the spectral dimension is 0.28A (CDELT=0.28). The observation in the cube is Ha emission of a ...
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1answer
105 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? If we would take ...
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1answer
108 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 ...
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85 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.)
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252 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 ...
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1answer
520 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 ...
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1answer
497 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 (...
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107 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 ...
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2answers
519 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 ...
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150 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.
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141 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 ...
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1answer
475 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?...
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120 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 ...
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2answers
475 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$_\alpha$? ...
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109 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 ...
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2answers
211 views

How to tell whether an optical spectrum is featureless or just with a low S/N?

A featureless spectrum and a spectrum low S/N are very similar. Is there a way to tell the difference between them?
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294 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 ...
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1answer
68 views

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

Chromoscope 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 circular formations to ...
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102 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,...