Spectroscopy—A New Golden Age for Amateur Astronomy

  • Keith Robinson
Part of the Patrick Moore’s Practical Astronomy Series book series (PATRICKMOORE)


It was the year 1824. Gustav Kirchoff was born. He, together with Robert Bunsen was to lay the foundations of modern spectroscopy. By perhaps an ‘inevitable’ coincidence, it was in the following year that the French philosopher August Comte pronounced that the chemical composition of the stars was knowledge that mankind would never possess. This is the kind of (well known) story that is guaranteed to make every scientist—astronomer or otherwise—smile. By the 1860s Father Angelo Secchi was classifying stars according to their spectra and astronomical spectroscopy was born.


Accretion Disk Physics Degree Astronomical Object French Philosopher Professional Class 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keith Robinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal Astronomical Society, UKLancasterUK

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