Astrophysics (index)


(device to study the spectrum of incoming light)

A Spectroscope is a device to study light's spectrum. The terms Spectroscope, Spectrograph, and Spectrometer now are used interchangeably for advanced instruments.

The term Spectroscope was given to a device that allows you to look at a spectrum, much like a telescope or microscope that also includes a prism or Grating and a built-in visible scale to assist you identifying the Wavelengths of Spectral Lines. The term Spectrograph was given to devices much like a spectroscope attached to a camera, that focus the spectrum on photographic film, recording it for later study. The term Spectrometer has always been a general term that encompasses either.

Modern advanced instruments virtually always focus the spectrum on a CCD or similar sensor, allowing the spectral data to be transmitted, recorded and analyzed electronically, and any of the three terms may be used. The terms may be used for analyzers of any part of the Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) spectrum, but when used for other than Visible Light, that is usually mentioned, e.g., the phrase "X-ray Spectrometer".

(color,EMR,instrument type)

Referenced by:
Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT)
Velocity Dispersion (σ)
Focal Plane
Gemini Observatory
Photometric Redshift
Spectral Band