AAS 195th Meeting, January 2000
Session 106. Education
Display, Saturday, January 15, 2000, 9:20am-4:00pm, Grand Hall

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[106.11] Using a PC-based Chemical Spectrometer for Undergraduate Astronomy Labs

C.G. De Pree (Agnes Scott College), K.B. Marvel (American Astronomical Society)

We present several laboratory exercises used with a commercially available optical/IR spectometer. The room-temperature spectrometer, produced by OceanOptics, has an optical fiber feed and provides ~0.3 nm/pixel resolution with good sensitivity. Students are able to use a PC to obtain spectra of black body sources, gas discharge tubes, and the solar spectrum with just the standard equipment. The spectra can be saved for further analysis with other software such as a spreadsheet. By mounting the optical fiber to a telescope eyepiece, students can obtain spectra of bright stars, planets and the moon. The OceanOptics system is relatively inexpensive and will work with even the smallest of modern PC computers. Laboratory exercises and support materials will be available free by next summer at the Ocean Optics WWW site. We acknowledge OceanOptics for support that made this project possible.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: cdepree@ire.agnesscott.edu

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