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written by James Kaler
This is a comprehensive resource that explains how astronomers use spectra to understand star composition, structure, and evolution.  The page begins with an introduction to the electromagnetic spectrum and then goes into great detail about the properties of light.  Written on the level of a beginner, it discusses how spectrographs work, absorption and emission lines, and how to interpret the spectral sequence.  

This item is part of a larger collection of resources developed for teachers and students of astronomy.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
- Fundamentals
= Spectra
- Stars
- Color
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Informal Education
- Upper Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Lecture/Presentation
- Reference Material
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- New teachers
  • Currently 5.0/5

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Additional Information
image credit: N.A.Sharp, NOAO/NSO/Kitt Peak FTS/AURA/NSF; image source. This resource was featured by the Physics To Go collection from January 1, 2007 until January 16, 2007. View the feature here!

Intended Users:
Access Rights:
Free access
© 1998 James B. Kaler
absorption, electromagnetic, emission, luminosity, photon, radioactive, spectrum, tutorial
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created February 23, 2004 by Patricia Monahan
Record Updated:
November 17, 2009 by Lyle Barbato
Other Collections:

This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.

Topic: Astronomy
Unit Title: Astronomy Resources For the High School Classroom

Easy-to-navigate reference material that explains how astronomers use spectra to understand star composition, structure, and evolution.  Contains multiple drawings and photos.

Link to Unit:
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
J. Kaler, (1998), WWW Document, (http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/spectra.html).
J. Kaler, Spectra (1998), <http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/spectra.html>.
APA Format
Kaler, J. (1998). Spectra. Retrieved May 27, 2024, from http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/spectra.html
Chicago Format
Kaler, James. Spectra. 1998. http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/spectra.html (accessed 27 May 2024).
MLA Format
Kaler, James. Spectra. 1998. 27 May 2024 <http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/spectra.html>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "James Kaler", Title = {Spectra}, Volume = {2024}, Number = {27 May 2024}, Year = {1998} }
Refer Export Format

%A James Kaler %T Spectra %D 1998 %U http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/spectra.html %O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %A Kaler, James %D 1998 %T Spectra %V 2024 %N 27 May 2024 %9 text/html %U http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/spectra.html

Disclaimer: ComPADRE offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure. Please refer to the style manuals in the Citation Source Information area for clarifications.

Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ.

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