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Favorite Spectroscopy Books?

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Favorite Spectroscopy Books?

I promise this is the last thread that I will start today in the spectroscopy forum. :) 

I have a question for those of you that are not professionals but have been self-taught on spectroscopy.  What books did you find most useful as a resource when you were new to spectroscopy?  I'd like the non-pro point of veiw on this because my love for "Interpreting Astronomical Spectra" by Emerson is probably not on par with what might work best for the typical non-pro AAVSO member.  Please share your favorites in a reply.

FMT's picture
Stellar spectral

Stellar spectral classification Gray and Corbally, 2009, Princeton university press

The astrophysics of emission-lines stars, Tomokazu Kogure & Kam Ching Leung, 2007, Springer


And for my favorite stars (eruptives) :

Cataclysmic variables stars, 1995, Warner (a lot of pages about spectroscopy of cataclysmics and novea)

The symbiotic stars, 1986/2008, Kenyon 


Best regards

François Teyssier



GTN's picture
Favorite books on spectroscopy subjects

"Stars and Their Spectra: An introduction to the Spectral Sequence", by James B. Kaler is admirably suitable for the curious intermediate amateur astronomer and an undergraduate astronomy or physics student.

"The Classification of Stars", by Carlos and Mercedes Jaschek emphasizes the phenomenolgy, techniques, and results of spectral classification; it purposely omits much of the underlying astrophysics, which is virtually irrelevant for classification purposes.  The book does not contain much information related to modern spectrograph/detector design and hardware.  Unfortunately, Carlos Jaschek died in 1999, and Mercedes before him.

"Stellar Spectral Classification" by Gray and Corbally has a different purpose from that of the Jaascheks - its astrophysics is decidedly more complete and contemporary than the Jaschek's book; e.g., it adds the later spectral types (L, e.g.) not yet recognized in Jaschek's day.  The two books complement each other extremely well, but Gray and Corbally is much more up to date and detailed.

I also like the very comprehensive and complete explanation of the theory, hardware and tools of spectroscopy in D.F. Gray's book, "The Observation and Analysis of Stellar Photospheres", chapters 1, 3, and 4.  While it is aimed at a graduate level student of stellar photospheres, please don't let that scare you off: it is an excellent resource for intermediate level and advanced amateurs who want an introductory technical and theoretical approach to the gear but also to the results, and reasons to do, spectroscopic analysis of stellar spectra.  If I contemplated building a spectrograph from scratch, this is where I might begin.

I shouldn't leave out Hearnshaw's "The Analysis of Starlight: 150 years of astronomical spectroscopy", from 1986.  Its strengths are an engaging style of writing and its very comprehensive biographical, history, and technical information interwoven in a chronologicaly clear way.



GTN's picture
More threads! :)

The subject says it all!  Hope to read more.




Searching for a book


I am looking for a book on introductory astronomical spectroscopy. I want to learn what all are the things that determine the resolution of a spectrum. How can one decide the exposure time (say for a variable star of period 0.5 day) and how S/N is calculated from a raw spectrum. In short, I want to learn about the variable star spectroscopy starting from obtaining a spectra and then reducing it and making some science out of it.

Which would be the best book for this purpose?

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