3
$\begingroup$

In several books I find reported that the first scientist to perform spectrographic observations of celestial objects was Fraunhofer with the spectrographs he himself produced. I do not find though a reference, a paper, in which he presents this work.

Using the NASA astrophysics data systems I find only the papers concerning his technical work with glasses but not the observations of Venus, Mars, and other heavenly bodies, he performed.

I find books on Google Books reporting such observations but unfortunately I can view limited parts of these books and not their bibliographies.

Anybody can find a reference for any of these observations?

| improve this question | | | | |
$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ It might be better to ask this in History of Science and Mathematics SE, but historical observational astronomy is certainly on-topic here as well. $\endgroup$ – uhoh May 16 '19 at 6:46
  • $\begingroup$ But the second result in the paper list on ADS is already observations of Jupiter... $\endgroup$ – AtmosphericPrisonEscape May 16 '19 at 15:22
2
$\begingroup$

With further research I found an Answer in "The Cosmic Century" by Longair (Cambridge).
When Longair says

In 1823, Fraunhofer made further observations of the spectra of the planets and the brightest stars, anticipating by about 40 years the next serious attempts to measure the spectra of the stars (Fraunhofer, 1823)

the article referenced is Kurzer Bericht von den Resultaten neuerer Versuche über die Gesetze des Lichtes, und die Theorie derselben (A short account of the results of recent experiments upone the laws of light and its theory.) which was actually fetched by my research in the NASA ADS (https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1823AnP....74..337F/abstract). But the title did not mention any planet or star and I could not access the full text, so I thought it was not the right reference.

| improve this answer | | | | |
$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The German wikipedia quotes his work as being from 1814, but goes on to link a paper published in 1817. Also apparently William Hyde Wollaston was 10 years earlier with the discovery of the lines, just less well-known. $\endgroup$ – AtmosphericPrisonEscape May 16 '19 at 15:24
  • $\begingroup$ @AtmosphericPrisonEscape thanks, also for your comment in the question. German is not my mothertongue so I had to translate all the titles and did not understand properly the second. It seems though that Logair is quoting the 1823 paper as the beginning of his observations. Would you mind organizing the information in the two comments in a more organic way. I'll accept your post as answer in that case. $\endgroup$ – cosimoNigro May 17 '19 at 6:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This English translation of Kurzer Bericht... only says that the spectra of Venus and Mars are similar to the Sun's (p. 60). $\endgroup$ – Mike G May 19 '19 at 21:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.