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Cool Sun Fact - Introduction

The Sun

The German physicist Joseph Fraunhofer found some 700 lines in the solar spectrum in the early 1800s. We now know that there are many thousands of lines in the Sun's spectrum, caused by different chemical elements in the solar atmosphere.

In the partial solar spectrum shown below, many dark absorption lines such as Fraunhofer discovered can be seen. Some of them are identified with the responsible element.

Fraunhofer Lines Image


A service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA/GSFC

NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration