I'm looking for some reference listing spectral lines outside the visible spectrum. (In particular, I'm looking for an element or compound that emits strongly in the 700-900nm range.)


2 Answers 2


Assuming your question is a reference request:

I now about one resource that has a very broad range of spectral data, the

NIST Atomic Spectra Database Lines Form

This has worked great for me.

This page lists a couple of different alternatives. For the near IR case you are interested in, several collections are listed here.

  • $\begingroup$ even though it doesn't fit into your desired spectral range, I can also recommend the CDMS (cologne database for molecular spectroscopy) astro.uni-koeln.de/cdms/entries . As the name already says, it's rather useful for frequencies in the gigahertz regime $\endgroup$
    – rtime
    Feb 15, 2016 at 19:43
  • $\begingroup$ This may be the best answer: Given a compound I can now find the extended spectrum, but given a spectral range I'm not able to find a way to get a list of elements or compounds with relatively strong lines in that range. But don't assume my physics is that strong: Is that question readily transformed into terms that will work with one of those data sources? $\endgroup$
    – feetwet
    Feb 15, 2016 at 19:59

Both potassium (766.5+769.9 nm) and sodium (818.3+819.4 nm) have strong resonance lines (doublets) in this part of the spectrum. There are also the calcium triplet lines at 849.8+854.2+866.2 nm.

These are the strongest atomic absorption lines seen in the spectra of solar-type stars or cooler at 700-900 nm.

A more specific answer would require the spectral type of the star.

To do something more general and/or extensive you would need to get hold of a good line list (a line list alone cannot easily tell you which lines will appear strongest in a stellar spectrum) and a spectral synthesis programme like SME or MOOG.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .