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Biography of Sir Joseph Norman Lockyer (1836-1920)


British astronomer, pioneer of studies of Astrophysics and solar spectroscopy, noted as the founder of solar Astrophysics. Following the eclipse of 1868, he noted that solar flares could be studied with the spectroscope, anytime of the day or of the year, and not only during eclipses. Analyzing a solar spectrum obtained by the Frenchman Pierre Jannsen, identified an element unknown that he baptized with the name of helium (the second of the periodic table after hydrogen), subsequently isolated in the laboratory of Ramsay in 1895. In 1866 it had obtained spectra of sunspots, discovering that their emission lines experienced a Doppler effect, phenomenon which is attributed to the rapid displacement of masses of gas due to the convective movements. Together with Jannsen, reached the conclusion that the bumps are rashes on the outer layers of the Sun. The founding of the scientific journal Nature is also due to Lockyer. It also dealt with the archaeology and was a precursor of the possible astronomical alignments with ancient structures.


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