mple facts illustrate Kirchhoff's immortal discovery of certain fundamental principles of spectroscopy, in 1859. The gases and vapors in the lamp flame are at a lower temperature than the lime source. The cooler vapors of sodium and thallium have the power of absorbing exactly those rays from the hotter lime or other similar source which the vapors by themselves would emit to form bright lines.
When we apply the spectroscope to celestial objects we find apparently an endless variety of spectra. We shall illustrate some of the leading characteristics of these spectra as in Figs. 13 to 18, inclusive, and Figs. 21, 22, 23 and 24. The spectra of some nebulae consist almost exclusively of isolated bright lines, indicating that these bodies consist of luminous gases, as Huggins determined in 1864; but a very faint continuous band of light frequently forms a background for the brilliant bright lines. Many of the nebular lines are due to hydrogen, others are due to helium; but the majority, including the two o