Fraunhofer lines, illustration

Fraunhofer lines, illustration

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Credit: CARLOS CLARIVAN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Fraunhofer lines. Illustration of the Sun's spectrum, 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 (produced by the prism at upper centre) is shown ranging from blue (left) to red (right), with the wavelength in nanometres across bottom. The absorption lines indicate the presence of certain elements in the Sun's atmosphere.

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