Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The solar spectrum -- magnesium green

This is an image of the sun's spectrum centered in green, taken through the Ryerson Astronomical Society's 106 year-old refractor at the University of Chicago.
The three prominent lines in the center of the image are from magnesium absorption in the solar chromosphere at 516.7, 517.3, and 518.4nm. There is 1 magnesium atom in the sun to every 28000 atoms of hydrogen. (See the solar abundance here). The emission spectrum of magnesium can be calculated with a java applet here. The spectrum is from neutral or unionized magnesium and is the Fraunhofer b line.

I think that the magnesium triplet is my favorite set of lines in the whole solar spectrum. Beautiful green, strong, what else do you need?

Some other solar spectrum posts:
Blue violet
Terrestrial oxygen red

1 comment:

Steven said...

My favorite is the sodium doublet.