On Tuesday, 14 May, Dr Ian Lewis from Oxford University came to Downe House to give a guest lecture on Astronomical Spectroscopy, as part of the Astronomy Club’s summer schedule.
In the lecture, Dr Lewis discussed how taking a closer look at the light from stars and galaxies tells us a great deal about their composition, how they behave, and where they came from. Girls from the Lower and Upper Sixth listened intently as Dr Lewis described some of the fascinating engineering projects he has worked on all around the world, such as the European Southern Observatory in Chile.
After looking at the improvements made in spectroscopy over the last few decades, Dr Lewis focused on describing some of the new technology being used to study the spectrographs of objects in the universe. Girls were particularly interested in learning about how fibre optic cabling is being used in conjunction with spectrometers to image thousands of objects an hour with telescopes, such as the 8.2 metre Subaru Telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii.