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Preparing for total solar eclipse, 1896

Preparing for total solar eclipse, 1896

V700/0304

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Credit

ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Preparing for total solar eclipse, 1896. British astronomer Joseph Norman Lockyer (1836-1920), seen with a white beard, and others preparing to view the 1896 eclipse from Vadso, Norway. Lockyer is known for his discovery of helium by electromagnetic spectroscopy. During an eclipse in 1868, he observed a yellow line from a spectrum taken near the edge of the Sun. It had a different wavelength to any other known chemical element at the time. Lockyer suggested that the yellow line was caused by an unknown solar element, which he named helium (after the Green word helios meaning Sun).

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