Docentship lecture: The analysis and interpretation of stellar spectra

  • Date:
  • Location: Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1 Polhemsalen (10134) and Zoom:
  • Lecturer: Dr Anish Amarsi
  • Contact person: Anish Amarsi
  • Docentföreläsning

The Department of Physics and Astronomy hereby invites all interested to a docentship lecture in the subject of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Chairperson: Professor Nikolai Piskunov

Representative of the Docentship Committee: Professor Stephan Pomp


Stars leave their signatures on the light they emit, in the form of spectral absorption and emission lines. By comparing observations against models of stellar spectra, we can decode these signatures to reveal the physical properties of stars, in particular their chemical compositions. This information sheds light on the structure and evolution of the stars themselves, as well as their planets, and even the Galaxy as a whole ... provided that the model stellar spectra employed in the analyses are sufficiently realistic.

In this lecture I shall discuss the interpretation of stellar spectra in the wider astrophysical context. I shall then describe how stellar spectroscopic analyses proceed in practice, placing emphasis on how the model stellar spectra are constructed. Lastly, I will present some of the current challenges in this area, illustrating how improvements to the models may lead to exciting new insights in the future.

The lecture is an obligatory teaching test for those applying for admittance as docent and it should be possible for students and others with basic academic education in the relevant field to follow it. The lecture lasts 40-45 minutes with subsequent discussion. The lecture will be given in Swedish/English.