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Chris White: You Can Almost Touch the Stars

You Can Almost Touch the Stars
A Webinar on Spectroscopy

Even if you wanted to touch a star, they’re impossibly distant. Despite these great distances, researchers have learned a great deal about quite a few stars. How? The most common method to study the stars is called spectroscopy, which is the art and science of analyzing the colorful rainbow spectrum produced by a prism-like device.

Until recently, spectroscopy was too expensive and too complicated for all but a handful of amateurs. Today, though, new tools make spectroscopy accessible to almost all of us. You no longer need a PhD, dark skies, long exposures, enormous aperture ... or a big budget! With your current telescope and FITS camera (or a simple web cam or even a DSLR without a telescope) you can now easily study the stars yourself. Wouldn’t you like to detect the atmosphere on Neptune or the red shift of a quasar right from your own backyard?!

This talk, with lots of interesting examples, will show you what it’s all about and help you understand how spectroscopy is used in research. And it will show you how to get started.

WHEN: Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Doors open at 6:30 pm. Meeting begins at 7:00 pm.

WHERE: Mission Trails Visitors Center in San Diego
          1 Father Junipero Serra Trail, just off Mission Gorge Road
          Directions: http://www.mtrp.org/vc_directions.asp.

Meet Tom Field
Tom Field of Field Tested Systems and is a Contributing Editor at Sky & Telescope. Tom’s article on spectroscopy appeared in the August 2011 issue. He’s the author of the RSpec software (www.rspec-astro.com) which received their “Hot Product 2012” award last year. Tom is a popular speaker who has spoken at many different venues, including NEAF, the NEAF Imaging Conference, PATS, the Winter Star Party, the Advanced Imaging Conference, SCAE, and others. His enthusiastic style is lively and engaging. He promises to open the door for you to this fascinating field! For questions, email Tom at [masked].

The purpose of the San Diego Astronomy Association is to further the education of its members and the general public in the subjects of astronomy and the related space and physical science, and to increase public awareness and enjoyment of these sciences. For more information, please visit the Program Meeting page on http://www.sdaa.org.

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