Total Beginner’s How-To Guide: Drift Scanning Spectrography

On August 22nd, 2020, I gave a talk on the drift scanning method during an AAVSO Spectroscopy Observing Section webinar. You can watch a recording of that presentation here: Recording high quality spectra of the stars is easier than you ever thought it was! Drift scanning is a method which can be used to record scientific spectra using any telescope, even if it doesn't have a tracking drive. Dark skies aren't required-- I shoot all of my spectra from inside [...]

By |August 21, 2020|Categories: Beginner, Spectrography|12 Comments


These are a few of my favorite spectra out of the hundreds that I’ve taken. All of them were recorded using the drift scanning method, my dobsonians, a Star Analyzer 100 slitless diffraction grating, and high dispersions in the range of 1.7-1.1Å/px. If you’d like to record similar spectra for yourself, I’ve written a step-by-step guide to the drift scanning method which you can read here.

Most of these renders were created using a combination of Python/Matplotlib to graph the data, and Photoshop to do the rest. All of the 2D spectra images displayed are the real photos used to create the graphs, with minimal processing (black and white point, and colorization).

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