Infrared Spectrometry Using the Spitzer Space Telescope

The Objective

The objective of this project was to model the spectral energy of blazar S5 0716+714. For the second-year study, the goal was to find a redshift for the target to allow the thermal energy to be modeled using Planck's Law and also to develop a synchrotron radiation model.


The Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) Spitzer Space Telescope was used to take a spectrum of the target, and a spectral reduction program, SPICE, was used to extract the spectrum and convert it to a two-dimensional form.

he modeling was done using Fathom, a data analysis tool.


A silicate emission feature was detected at 18 microns, and literature showed that this feature appeared at 10 microns in the rest frame.

These values were used to calculate a redshift of z = 0.8, which was then used to calculated the rest wavelength of the "bump" seen in the SED.

This wavelength was applied to Wien's Law to calculate a temperature for the bump, which was used with Planck's Law to construct a thermal model.

The redshift was further used to determine the velocity and distance of the target, yielding values of .53c and 7.14 billion lightyears, respectively.


The synchrotron and thermal models were used to approximate the shape of the bump, however an exact match didn't occur. This suggest that other sources of radiation are present. By changing the parameters of the temperature and adding a second synchrotron component, a better approximation of the actual data was observed. For a follow-up project, more data points will be added to the SED to give the models a better shape. This will allow a more accurate model to be developed.

To model the thermal radiation of blazar S% 0716+714, the Spitzer Space Telescope was used to take a spectrum of the target in order to calculate a redshift to be used in Planck's Law.

Science Fair Project done By Alekzandir Morton; Thomas Travagli



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