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Spectroscope


Source Institutions

    The University of Texas McDonald Observatory

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Spectroscope

In this activity, learners construct their own spectroscope as they explore and observe spectra from familiar light sources. Learners can be challenged to make technological improvements to their spectroscopes and/or participate in extension activities that expand their understanding of different kinds of spectra and sharpen their observing skills.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 14 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan

Language:
English

Materials List (per group of students)


  • Incandescent light bulb (60-100-watt frosted) and base
  • String of clear holiday lights (optional)
  • Fluorescent light (single bulb)
  • Transmission grating sheet (available from science supply store)
  • 2 transparency sheets
  • Glo-Doodler (available from Colorforms) (optional)
  • Manila folders (halves)
  • Black paper
  • Index cards (3x5-inch size)
  • Tape or rubber bands
  • Scissors
  • Small paper clips
  • Hole punchers

Subjects


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Astronomy
      • Light and Optics
    • Solar System
      • The Sun
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Technology
      • Information and Communication
  • Physical Sciences
    • Light and Optics
      • Electromagnetic Spectrum
      • Sunlight and Color
      • Vibration and Waves
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Light and Optics
      • Diffraction and Interference
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

  • Education and Outreach Office, McDonald Observatory

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, The University of Texas at Austin, ©2008

Funding Source:

  • NASA (Space Telescope Science Institute, operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy), HST-EO-10861.35-A

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