Questions tagged [spectra]

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

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14
votes
1answer
917 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
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2answers
279 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
222 views

How does the black hole at the center of M87 look like in the visible spectrum?

I learned here that the picture of the black hole we saw all over the news was a false color image, based on the radio spectrum emissions. How would the black hole at the center of M87 look like when ...
4
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2answers
723 views

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. ...
4
votes
2answers
206 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
112 views

Nebula and its colors

A Nebula has bright awesome colors that include red, blue, green, orange, white, etc? They're result of excitation of electrons. Is there a clear explanation as to which color is attributed to an ...
17
votes
2answers
938 views

Problem regarding the absorption lines of the sun

Some of the wavelengths of light that are emitted from the sun will be absorbed by atoms in the outer layer of the sun and also the atmosphere of the sun, and we see this as absorption lines in the ...
2
votes
2answers
60 views

What does the opacity of a molecular transition mean?

In particular, what does it mean when a line (e.g, emission line in stellar wind) is optically thick or thin. I know what an optically think/thick medium is, but how does this concept compare to ...
9
votes
1answer
886 views

Why does the Sun deviate from a typical blackbody spectrum in the S band?

This is sort of a follow-up to this question, and my answer to it. The graph I see here details the radio (and other frequencies) emission of the sun. What's most notable and interesting to me is the ...
6
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
468 views

Where can I find a database of galactic spectra?

I was wondering where spectra of galaxies at various redshifts are to be found. I'm looking for ones that can be used to find the recessional velocity of the galaxy and eventually the Hubble Constant. ...
3
votes
2answers
171 views

How does a cross dispersed spectrum look like in a reality (from echelle spectrographs)?

I am an analytical chemist with some interest in amateur spectroscopy. Since astronomers use echelle spectrographs to study the high resolution spectrum of the stars, someone suggested to post the ...
3
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
116 views

When examining an exoplanet's atmosphere is the star's emission spectra or planet's light used?

My understanding of the main method we use to figure out an exoplanet atmosphere composition is that when a exoplanet transits their sun, visible light passes through the planet's atmosphere, and ...
2
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
90 views

Was is the angle needed to see a glory (a rainbow-like effect) from space off the Earth? [closed]

What positions would the Earth, Sun and viewer need to be to see a glory (a rainbow-like effect) from space? What position would they need to be in to reproduce this picture? Source: Gizmodo (NASA ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

How to calculate the statistically significant level for a guassian line profile?

In some papers, they fit a line profile with gaussian model. For example, in this paper, fig 1 draw three gauss line profile, O VII, O VIII, and Ne IX. But the data seems noisy and the gaussian height ...