Spectroscope eyepiece in case
Spectroscopes are devices that take the light emitted from objects and split it up into their component colours. Every element has a different signature spectrum, and thus the spectroscope allows the observer to define what elements the object is composed of.
Spectroscopy was first used in astronomy in the early 1860s. One of its first uses was to determine the elements that comprise the sun. Star spectroscopes can allow a user to determine the composition of a celestial object, its motion, density, and temperature.
This spectroscope remains of national significance due to its pioneering role in Australian science and its association with Australia's earliest astronomers and astronomical equipment. It is also of international significance due to its association with nineteenth century scientific instruments and their makers
Written by Erika Dicker
Assistant Curator, February, 2008.