How do we know what the stars are really made of? Is the universe made of the same kind of stuff as we are?
This short film by Jim Royal tells the story behind the science of spectroscopy and the beauty of the universe.
The film is a labor of love: the product of a lifelong interest in astronomy, and a passion to explain it to the world. The study of the rainbow, and of optics in general, changed the way we understand the universe and ourselves. Once we believed that the sky was a realm of perfection and magic. Now we understand that we are part of the universe, that there is no real dividing line between Earth and space.
The patterns of coloured light generated by chemical elements — called emission spectra and absorption spectra — revealed that both we and the stars are made of the same stuff. And this discovery just might be the most profound and awe-inspriring discovery in human history.
Email: rainbows [at] jimroyal.com