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Spectroscopical Observations of Shooting Stars

Nature volume 20, pages 521522 | Download Citation



PROF. VON KONKOLY, of the Astro-physical Observatory of O-Gyalla (Hungary), contributes an interesting paper on the spectra of shooting stars to a recent number of the Astronomische Nackrickten, from which we note the following data:—On July 26 and 28, and again on August 12 and 13, the Professor had the opportunity of observing some bright shooting stars spectro-scopically, and, with a few exceptions, he arrived at the result that the heads of shooting stars give a continuous spectrum. generally, upon which very often the bright sodium line appears projected. Since this, however, is not always the case, Prof. von Konkoly inclines to the belief that considerable differences of elevation exist amongst shooting stars, and that those which do not show the sodium line are travelling in very much higher regions than those which do show the line in question, since he looks upon the sodium line as not belonging to the shooting star itself, but as resulting from the atmospheric air which the meteorite condenses and renders incandescent. It is evident that in very high regions there must be very much less (if any) chloride of sodium suspended in the atmosphere than in lower strata.

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