New spectroscopy software Rspec, and Arcturus revisited

My first foray into spectroscopy was barely a month ago and already I am shifting gears. It turns out it is pretty straight forward to image the spectra of stars, but processing it and making something of the image is another story entirely.

Like a lot of people I would imagine, I started using a program called Vspec, mainly because it was free and also because there are a lot of people using it. The problem I ran into rather quickly was that if you are starting from scratch and understand nothing about the spectrum, the software or the entire theory of spectroscopy then Vspec can be a bear to figure out.

So I broke down and ordered Rspec from the same guy I bought the Star Analyser 100 from and man did that make my life easier. In just a few days I went from things I knew were wrong but had no idea how to fix to this:


Which not only am I fairly sure has some semblance of being correct, but I actually understand some of! Interesting things about this profile include the 5850-5900 range showing sodium and calcium absorption lines, 5160-5180 showing a large concentration of magnesium lines, lines just before and just after 5400 showing iron and the dark lines just before 4300 showing CH or methane.

Now admittedly I looked up the spectrum in a reference book and got the information for the spectral lines from that book, but the cool part about it is I could actually see what they were talking about and their observations matched my images and curves. So either I am getting more correct in my image taking and processing, or more delusional in my old age, either of which works for me 🙂

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