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SEDs (Spectral Energy Distributions)

See our SEDs poster presented at January 2011 AAS meeting in Seattle here.

to our Spectral Energy Distributions (SEDs) page with educational tools including templates and instructions for investigating SEDs. This project is made possible through NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Project (NITARP) here.

Sally Seebode   Darryl / Steve     
          Project coordinator Sally Seebode                                         CSM Prof. Darryl Stanford / Dr. Steve Howell NOAO

What are SEDs?

A spectral energy distribution is a graph of the energy emitted by a star as a function of wavelength. An SED resembles a blackbody curve, and can be composed of spectra or photometric data observations of a star.

Why SEDs?
Key items used in studying stars are spectral type, temperature, radius and distance. These terms may be defined for students, but understanding how astronomers use data to determine these items is not as obvious. This page will help students understand, determine, and learn how to apply information about spectral type, temperature, radius and distance to answer deeper questions, such as cluster membership.

SEDs tool samples...

poor match
   SEDs part 2 poor match: 85 pc

good match

  SEDs part 2 good match: 160 pc

Where to Start
On this page we present instructions and templates for using SEDs in the classroom. Teachers can customize instructions and procedures for their individual class level.

SEDs Part 1 here.   Part 1 College instructions here.   Part 1 High school instructions here.
SEDs Part 2 here.   Part 2 College instructions here.   Part 2 High school instructions here.

EpsAur SED
   SED of Epsilon Aurigae    -Dr. D.W. Hoard, Cal Tech

SEDs project developed by the following:

Sally Seebode, Project Coordinator
San Mateo High School, San Mateo, CA

Professor Darryl Stanford
College of San Mateo, San Mateo, CA

Dr. Steve Howell
NOAO, Tucson, AZ

Dr. D.W. Hoard
Spitzer Science Center, Pasadena CA

Dean Drumheller
College of San Mateo, San Mateo, CA