Space spectra, historical diagram

Space spectra, historical diagram

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Credit: DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Space spectra. 1884 diagram of the spectra of the Sun and other astronomical bodies, showing a set of dark absorption lines known as Fraunhofer lines. These are named after the German physicist Joseph von Fraunhofer (1787-1826), who discovered them in 1814. The spectrum is shown ranging from blue (right) to red (left). The absorption lines indicate the presence of certain elements in the atmosphere. Marked across top are the alpha, beta, gamma and delta lines of the Balmer series of emission lines for hydrogen

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