Event Title

Connecting a Spectrometer to a High Power Telescope in Order to Gather Light From Stars

Session Number

J08

Advisor(s)

Eric Hawker, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Location

A-129

Start Date

28-4-2016 9:50 AM

End Date

28-4-2016 10:15 AM

Disciplines

Engineering

Abstract

The purpose of this investigation was to design a way to connect an Ocean Optics Red Tide USB650 spectrometer to a 12 inch Meade LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, so that astronomical spectra could be gathered. The other purpose was to show that with relatively simple equipment, most schools that have a telescope can do this. First, in order to accomplish this, the location of the focal point of the telescope was found. Finding the focal point involved many measurements and computations, most of which was done on Microsoft Excel. A flashlight was used as the object of an optical system, and it was tested at various distances to acquire the image distance for the focal point calculations. Once the focal point was found, the optical fiber was attached and connected to the spectrometer. It was first tested with regular light sources such as neon, hydrogen, and argon. The spectrometer was able to read the neon and hydrogen, but the argon was too faint to be detected. This shows that any school with a telescope and solid state spectrometer can connect the two to take spectroscopic data of astronomical objects.


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Apr 28th, 9:50 AM Apr 28th, 10:15 AM

Connecting a Spectrometer to a High Power Telescope in Order to Gather Light From Stars

A-129

The purpose of this investigation was to design a way to connect an Ocean Optics Red Tide USB650 spectrometer to a 12 inch Meade LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, so that astronomical spectra could be gathered. The other purpose was to show that with relatively simple equipment, most schools that have a telescope can do this. First, in order to accomplish this, the location of the focal point of the telescope was found. Finding the focal point involved many measurements and computations, most of which was done on Microsoft Excel. A flashlight was used as the object of an optical system, and it was tested at various distances to acquire the image distance for the focal point calculations. Once the focal point was found, the optical fiber was attached and connected to the spectrometer. It was first tested with regular light sources such as neon, hydrogen, and argon. The spectrometer was able to read the neon and hydrogen, but the argon was too faint to be detected. This shows that any school with a telescope and solid state spectrometer can connect the two to take spectroscopic data of astronomical objects.