AAVSO: American Association of Variable Star Observers

A Simple Objective Prism Spectrograph for Educational Purposes (Abstract)

Volume 47 number 2 (2019)

John Thompson
Ottawa Centre RASC


(Abstract only) This paper presents the construction and use of a simple low resolution spectrograph that can be made from a few dollars’ worth of parts. The device is placed in front of a standard DSLR on an adjustable tripod, no telescope, slit, or drive being required, and spectrum width is produced by trailing from the Earth’s motion. The spectrograph can reach to at least third magnitude, and has shown hydrogen Balmer lines, nebular emission lines, molecular absorption bands, and atmospheric absorption lines. It is well suited for educational purposes for schools and science camps, to introduce stellar classification and the fundamentals of astrophysics.