In 2014, the university has finally received a tool that would finally enable the Department of Earth and Space Science to conduct astronomical spectroscopy, albeit at the amateur level. This tool is the Rainbow Optics Star Spectroscope. Acquiring it is a small step for research but a huge leap for the department. This research aims to serve as a trailblazer for the department that would inspire the present and future batches of students to conduct research that involves stellar spectroscopy.
Statement of the Problem
The researcher aims to determine the chemical composition of the mentioned stars using the tools of the Department of Earth and Space Science.
Scope and Limitation
Being more interested in theoretical astrophysics, the researcher hasn’t done any astronomy research that involves telescopes and various instruments; a clear indication of inexperience and unfamiliarity with observational methods. He also possesses severe eye problems, nearsightedness and astigmatism with a vision of around 1300/800, compared to the normal 20/20. This would mean that the researcher would have huge difficulty in using optical instruments. Assistance of someone, who has experience in observational research and has used the spectroscope previously, was requested. Most importantly, since the department as a whole is new to spectroscopy, effective methods for capturing the perfect spectrum were not known aside from taking them at clear skies. This would have a profound effect on the quality of data gathered. Lastly, a DSLR was used instead of CCDs that are much more preferable in amateur spectroscopy.
Data Gathering and Procedures
Among the armada of telescopes that the department possesses, the Celestron Nextstar 102 SLT, but with a German-Equatorial mount was used due to its portability. The DSLR of the department, Canon EOS 1000D, with the rainbow optics star spectroscope attached through a t-adapter, was used. The researcher was fortunate enough to be assisted by Paulo de Mesa and mainly, Jonah Inguito in March 7 and 12 respectively. The data that were used in this research were from the ones gathered during March 12. An efficient and easy to learn spectroscopy software, RSpec(30-day trial), was used to interpret the gathered data. Fortunately, the website of RSpec has made a lot of tutorial videos that would brief its new users in a short span of time.
The stars chosen were αCMa, α Ori and β Ori; Sirius, Betelgeuse and Rigel respectively due to their apparent magnitudes and their proximity due to each other during the Month of March and visibility during 7 pm to 11 pm. Exposure of 1 sec and ISO 200 for Sirius and Rigel and ISO 400 for Betelgeuse were the settings utilized.
The researcher would like to thank the following for their invaluable help that made this research possible:
Jonah Inguito, for the invaluable assistance during March 12 at the gathering of data and for lending his experience at using the Star Spectroscope.
Paulo de Mesa, for the assistance during March 7. Prof. Pauline Divinagracia and Prof. Miguel Artificio, for allowing the researcher to use the department’s equipment and providing the grounds for the observation.
Mr. Tom Field of RSpec, for creating such innovative software, accompanying tutorials and assistance when the researcher had a problem installing the software.