© 2012

Grating Spectroscopes and How to Use Them


Part of the Patrick Moore's Practical Astronomy Series book series (PATRICKMOORE)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Ken M. Harrison
    Pages 1-12
  3. Ken M. Harrison
    Pages 13-32
  4. Ken M. Harrison
    Pages 33-52
  5. Ken M. Harrison
    Pages 53-78
  6. Ken M. Harrison
    Pages 79-104
  7. Ken M. Harrison
    Pages 105-125
  8. Ken M. Harrison
    Pages 127-143
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 145-167

About this book


Transmission grating spectroscopes look like simple filters and are designed to screw into place on the eyepiece tube of a telescope for visual use, or into a camera adapter for digicam or CCD imaging. They are relatively inexpensive and by far the easiest type of astronomical spectroscope to use, and so are the starting point for most beginners.

Using the most popular commercially made filter gratings - from Rainbow Optics in the United States to Star Analyser in the United Kingdon - as examples, the book provides all the information needed to set up and use the grating to obtain stellar spectra. It also presents methods of analyzing the results. No heavy mathematics or formulas are involved, although a reasonable level of proficiency in using an astronomic telescope and, if relevant, imaging camera, is assumed.

This book contains many practical hints and tips - something that is almost essential to success when starting out. It encourages new users to get quick results, and by following the worked examples, successfully carry out basic analysis of spectra.

With this author's earlier (intermediate level) book, Astronomical Spectroscopy for Amateurs, this book provides a perfect companion for those who want to know a lot more about what spectrographs tell us about the stars. And you'd be surprised at how much they tell us!


Astronomical spectroscopy Beginning spectroscopy CCD spectroscopy Observational astronomy Practical spectrometers Rainbow optics Star analyzer Stellar spectroscope Transmission grating Transmission spectroscope

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Wezembeek-OppemBelgium

About the authors

An avid amateur astronomer, Ken Harrison was born in Scotland where he trained as a mechanical engineer. He has been designing and building telescopes since the early 1960's and has built a series of spectroscopes for use on medium-sized amateur telescopes. He was Section Director of the Astronomical Society of Victoria, Australia, Astrophotographic Section for ten years and past president of the society. Harrison's university thesis (and his first publication) was Design and Construction of the Isaac Newton 98-inch Telescope (Strathclyde University, 1970). Since then he has published articles on optical design including "Blink Comparison" (BAA Journal Vol. 87, pg. 94) and "Method of Radially Supporting Large Mirrors" (Vol. 87, p. 154). He has made contributions to the Astronomical Society of Victoria Newslettre and was for three years the Editor of the 'N'Daba' newsletter of the Natal Centre, Astronomical Society of Southern Africa. His first book for Springer, called Astronomical Spectroscopy for Amateurs (2010) serves as a useful companion to this volume.

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