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As a black body a star emits a continuous spectrum of light and other radiation. I've learned they are capable of knowing of what elements the stars are made of because of the spectral lines. But how do they distinguish those lines from other radiations?

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  • $\begingroup$ The spectral lines are peaks in the spectral intensity distribution. $\endgroup$ – aventurin Jun 25 '16 at 10:16
  • $\begingroup$ Star do not have a blackbody spectrum. Have you looked at one? $\endgroup$ – Rob Jeffries Jun 25 '16 at 11:43
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The lines show as either peaks above the black body emission (for emission lines) or troughs below the black body emission (for absorption lines). Though stars more often have absorption lines and nebulae emission.

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