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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/514

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

red, one in the bluish green, and the two others in the violet. All four of these lines belong to hydrogen. Their marked peculiarity is their breadth, which tends to show that the absorbing layer is of considerable thickness or is subjected to a great pressure. Besides these broad rays, fine metallic rays are found in the brighter stars of this type. Secchi considers that this is the most numerous type of all, half the stars which he studied belonging to it.

The second type is that of the somewhat yellow stars, like Capella, Pollux, Arcturus, Procyon, etc. The most striking feature of the spectrum of these stars is its resemblance to that of our sun. Like the latter, it is crossed by very fine and close black rays. It would seem that the more the star inclines toward red, the broader these rays become and the easier it is to distinguish them. We give a figure showing the remarkable agreement between the spectrum of Capella, which may be taken as an example of the type, and that of the sun.

The spectra of the third type, belonging mostly to the red stars, are composed of a double system of nebulous bands and dark lines. The latter are fundamentally the same as in the second type, the broad nebulous bands being an addition to the spectrum, α Herculis may be taken as an example of this type.

It is to be remarked that, in these progressive types, the brilliancy

PSM V57 D514 Spectrum with both bright and dark lines.png
Fig. 7. Spectrum with both Bright and Dark Lines.

of the more refrangible end of the spectrum continually diminishes relatively to that of the red end. To this is due the gradations of color in the stars.

To these three types Secchi subsequently added a fourth, given by comparatively few stars of a deep red color. The spectra of this class consist principally of three bright bands, which are separated by dark intervals. The brightest is in the green; a very faint one is in the blue; the third is in the yellow and red, and is divided up into a number of others.

To these types a fifth was subsequently added by Wolf and Rayet, of the Paris Observatory. The spectra of this class show a singular mixture of bright lines and dark bands, as if three different spectra were combined, one continuous, one an absorption spectrum, and one an emission spectrum from glowing gas. Less than a hundred stars of this type have been discovered. A very remarkable peculiarity, which we