Pietro Angelo Secchi, Jesuit astronomer

Pietro Angelo Secchi, Jesuit astronomer

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Pietro Angelo Secchi (1818-1878), Jesuit priest and astronomer. Secchi worked as a professor of physics and astronomy for the Roman Catholic Church. With W. De La Rue, Secchi made the first useful photographs of solar prominences and corona during a total eclipse in Spain in 1860. He used a prism to split the light from stars to observe each one's spectrum. He initiated the field of spectral classification by splitting the stars into three classes: white, yellow and red. Artwork published between 1878 and 1900.

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