Reference numberPP/2/18/1
Previous numbersPP/34/19
TitleManuscript, 'On the photographic spectrum of comet (Wells) I,1882' by [William] Huggins
DescriptionHuggins writes: 'On the evening of Wednesday, May 31, I obtained a photograph of the spectrum of this comet with an exposure of one hour and a quarter. A spectrum of a Ursæ Majoris was taken through the other half of the slit, on the plate, for comparison. The photograph shows a strong continuous spectrum extending from about F to a little beyond H. In this continuous spectrum I am not able to distinguish the Fraunhofer lines. In this comet therefore, at this time, the original light giving a continuous spectrum must have been much stronger relatively to the sunlight reflected than was the case in the comet of last year. It should be stated that the greater faintness of the present comet made it necessary to use a more open slit, which would cause the Fraunhofer lines to be less distinct; but the lines G, H, and K are to be clearly seen in the star’s spectrum taken under the same conditions.'

Annotations in pencil and ink. Includes a diagram of the spectrum.

Subject: Spectroscopy / Astronomy

Received and read 15 June 1882.

A version of this paper was published in volume 34 of the Proceedings of the Royal Society as 'On the photographic spectrum of comet (Wells) 1,1882'.
Physical descriptionInk and graphite pencil on paper
Digital imagesView item on Science in the Making
Access statusOpen
Related materialDOI: 10.1098/rspl.1882.0028
Fellows associated with this archive
NA7376Huggins; Sir; William (1824 - 1910); astronomer1824 - 1910
Add to My Items

    Collection highlights

    Browse the records of some of our collections, which cover all branches of science and date from the 12th century onwards. These include the published works of Fellows of the Royal Society, personal papers of eminent scientists, letters and manuscripts sent to the Society or presented at meetings, and administrative records documenting the Society's activities since our foundation in 1660.

    The Royal Society

    The Royal Society is a Fellowship of many of
    the world's most eminent scientists and is the
    oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.
    Registered charity number 207043

    Website design ©CalmView


    + 44 207 451 2500
    (Lines open Mon-Fri, 9:00-17:00. Excludes bank holidays)

    6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG

    Email Us →


    Subscribe to our newsletters to be updated with the
    latest news on innovation, events, articles and reports.

    Subscribe →

    © CalmView