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ERIC Number: EJ817440
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-0143-0807
Measuring Stellar Temperatures: An Astrophysical Laboratory for Undergraduate Students
Cenadelli, D.; Zeni, M.
European Journal of Physics, v29 n1 p113-121 Jan 2008
While astrophysics is a fascinating subject, it hardly lends itself to laboratory experiences accessible to undergraduate students. In this paper, we describe a feasible astrophysical laboratory experience in which the students are guided to take several stellar spectra, using a telescope, a spectrograph and a CCD camera, and perform a full data analysis using the equivalent widths method on some spectral lines. This allows them to derive stellar temperatures after a suitable calibration and fitting procedure. On average, the estimated star's temperatures agree with the known results within an error margin of 5-10% for cold stars, and 20-25% for hot stars. (Contains 3 tables, 5 figures and 4 footnotes.)
Institute of Physics Publishing. The Public Ledger Building Suite 929, 150 South Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 215-627-0880; Fax: 215-627-0879; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A