SP-402 A New Sun: The Solar Results From Skylab

RICH PRIZES FROM SKYLAB'S SPECTROGRAPHS included detailed ultraviolet spectra of solar flares, such as (2), showing about 5000 spectral lines, each the unique signature of a specific element in the flaring region of the Sun.

 

RICH PRIZES FROM SKYLAB'S SPECTROGRAPHS included detailed ultraviolet spectra of solar flares, such as (2), showing about 5000 spectral lines, each the unique signature of a specific element in the flaring region of the Sun. The scale at left gives the wavelength in angstroms. The identities and shapes of spectral lines-which appear as dark, vertical streaks in this negative print-contain encoded information on the physical conditions within the flare.

The broad, lens-shaped line near the top is the strongest spectral line of hydrogen, most abundant of all elements in the Sun. To secure this spectrum, taken in the late stages of the same flare as shown in (1), Skylab astronauts aimed the massive telescope mount at the point of brightest flare emission with a precision that could split the thickness of a dime the length of a football field away.


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