Norman Lockyer’s seven-prism spectroscope

Made:
1868 in England
maker:
John Browning

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Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

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Lockyer spectroscope. Astronomical spectroscope from Norman Lockyer Observatory, brass, with train of seven prisms (one
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Lockyer spectroscope, Astronomical spectroscope from Norman Lockyer Observatory, brass, with train of seven prisms (one
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Lockyer spectroscope. Astronomical spectroscope from Norman Lockyer Observatory, brass, with train of seven prisms (one
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Lockyer spectroscope. Astronomical spectroscope from Norman Lockyer Observatory, brass, with train of seven prisms (one
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Astronomical spectroscope from Norman Lockyer Observatory, brass, with train of seven prisms (one damaged. Thought to be the one made by John Browning, London for Norman Lockyer who first used it to view Solar Prominences [chromosphere] outside a solar eclipse.

The astronomer Sir Norman Lockyer is believed to have used this seven-prism spectroscope. Ordered from the London instrument maker, John Browning in 1868, he was using it when he discovered an unknown spectral line in the Sun. He attributed this feature to a mystery element that he called Helium, an element that was only discovered on the Earth in 1894. Lockyer also used this spectroscope to observe prominences, flame features on the edge of the Sun that can be normally seen only during solar eclipses. Jules Janssen at the Paris Observatory simultaneously discovered this technique of viewing prominences outside eclipse. In recognition of their achievement the French government jointly awarded them a medal showing both scientists.

On display

Science Museum: Special Exhibition Gallery 1: The Sun

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Details

Category:
Astronomy
Object Number:
1987-1162
Materials:
brass, glass, incomplete, steel
Measurements:
overall (as displayed, inc. mount): 205 mm x 340 mm x 410 mm, 4.74 kg
type:
spectroscope - astronomica
taxonomy:
  • disciplines
  • disciplines
  • science
  • natural sciences
  • physical sciences
  • furnishing and equipment
  • measuring device - instrument
  • spectroscope
status:
Permanent collection

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