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Define a spectrum and discuss how spectra are used in astronomy?
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Spectrum - "The distribution of a characteristic of a physical system or phenomenon"
The word spectrum in science refers to the electromagnetic spectrum, which is the range of all frequencies of electromagnetic radiation. With high energy gamma rays at the top and everyday radio waves at the bottom.
Spectra is just plural for spectrum, and the electromagnetic spectrum is very important in astronomy. It's used in astronomy in numerous ways. We can use spectra and the Doppler Effect to measure red-shift and blue-shift, which can help us estimate the distance of galaxies from ours, and see if they're moving away or towards us. We can view stars with infrared telescopes and learn of their temperature, and from this we can figure out their chemical composition. Certain objects in space emit different spectra, if it wasn't for the electromagnetic spectrum we would have a very hard time searching for and identifying these objects.