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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/516

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

shall discuss hereafter, is that they are nearly all situated very near the central line of the Milky Way.

Vogel proposed a modification of Secchi's classification, by subdividing each of his three types into two or three others, and including the Wolf-Rayet stars under the second type. His definitions are as follows:

Type I is distinguished by the intensity of the light in the more refrangible end of the spectrum, the blue and violet. The type may be divided into three subdivisions, designated a, b and c:

In Ia the metallic lines are very faint, while the hydrogen lines are distinguished by their breadth and strength.

In Ib the hydrogen lines are wanting.

In Ic the lines of hydrogen and helium both show as bright lines. Stars showing this spectrum are now known as helium stars.

According to Vogel, the spectra of type II are distinguished by having the metallic lines well-marked and the more refrangible end of the spectrum much fainter than in the case of type I. He recognizes two subdivisions:

In IIa the metallic lines are very numerous, especially in the yellow and green. The hydrogen lines are strong, but not so striking as in Ia.

In IIb are found dark lines, bright lines and faint bands. In this subdivision he includes the Wolf-Eayet stars, more generally classified as of the fifth type.

The distinguishing mark of the third type is that, besides dark lines, there are numerous dark bands in all parts of the spectrum, and the more refrangible end of the latter is almost wanting. There are two subdivisions of this type:

In IIIa the broad bands nearest the violet end are sharp, dark and well-defined, while those near the red end are ill-defined and faint. In IIIb the bands near the red end are sharp and well-defined; those toward the violet faint and ill-defined. The character of the bands is therefore the reverse of that in subdivision a.

This classification of Vogel is still generally followed in Germany and elsewhere. It is found, however, that there are star spectra of types intermediate to all these defined. Moreover, in each type the individual differences are so considerable that there is no well-defined limit to the number of classes that may be recognized. At the Harvard Observatory a classification quite different from that of Vogel has been used, but it is too detailed for presentation here. The stars of type II are frequently termed Capellan stars, or Solar stars. Certain stars of type I are termed Orion stars, owing to the number of stars of the type found in that constellation. The stars which show the lines of helium are known as helium stars. We mention these designations because they frequently occur in literature. It would, however, be outside the object of the present work to describe all these classifications in detail. We therefore