Other Applications with Icarus Spectrograph
Using Icarus Slitless Spectrograph by night
The ISS can also be used by night for astronomical spectroscopy, capturing the spectra of the planets, stars, nebulae and comets (i.e. for pin point lights sources or with very small angular diameters). To capture these spectra, the user needs an equatorial mount and a DSLR or CCD camera. After adapting the ISS on the equatorial mount, aim the spectrograph to the sky area of interest and in about 2 - 10 seconds exposure time, for medium brightness stars, the user can record the spectra of the stars. The spectrum of a pinpoint - star source is a colored narrow line, with a width of a few pixels.
For capturing a better spectral image there is a trick: after aiming at the star and during the 10 sec exposure time, stop the RA motor or using the hand control, set the mount guide rate to 3 and push the RA buttons 5 sec to East and 5 sec to West. The spectrum will be transformed in a longer strip spectrum because of the star drift (wich produces a "drifted" spectrum). The Astronomical spectroscopy becomes easy.
Of course the user can use the ISS just for visual inspection of the star spectrum, by using the proper optics, adapters and eyepiece (not included in the package). The visual star spectrum inspection can only be done aiming bright stars.
Light pollution spectroscopy - the spectra of street lamps
The Icarus Slitless Spectrograph has been used continuously for the spectral analysis of the city lights. The light from the cities - street lamps is scattered on the sky and illuminates it. The light pollution makes the dark sky more gray or close to white and extinguishes the light from the stars.
In the next table we present the emission spectra of the most prevalent city light lamps such as incandescent light, High Sodium Pressure (HSP), mercury, Neon, and the spectra of Vega, M42 nebula and the comet Machholz.