Fr.: raie de Fraunhofer
One of many absorption lines and bands in the spectrum of the Sun. The most prominent features are labeled with capital letters A to K, starting at the red end. The A and B bands are now known to be caused by absorption in Earth's atmosphere, while the rest are due to absorption in the Sun's → photosphere. C and F are now better known as H-alpha and H-beta (→ Balmer series); the → D lines are of sodium, the → H and K lines of calcium, and the G band of neutral iron and the interstellar → CH (methylidine) molecule.
Named after Joseph von Fraunhofer (1787-1826), German optician and physicist, who discovered these lines in 1814; → line.