You may have brought a spectrometer you made at the Think Lab home with you. A spectrometer is an tool used by astronomers to split the light collected by a telescope into its colours. This allows astronomers see the details in the light from space. When astronomers pass the light of a star through a spectrometer, they get a spectrum of the star. Stars are made up of different elements and each element emits light of a particular frequency which we see as a particular colour. Oxygen, for example creates red and green colours. Astronomers can use this information to find out what stars are made of even though they are millions of miles away.
Do try this at home: make your own spectrometer
You will need: an CD (an old one will do, but this won’t work with a paper covered CD), a cardboard tube, a piece of card to fit over your tube, scissors and sticky tape.
Safe science – be careful when using the scissors to scratch the CD and cut the card.
Never look directly at the sun; even when using your spectroscope.