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solar spectrumThe Sun's spectrum extends from gamma-ray to radio wavelengths. It has an immense range in intensity, peaking at visible wavelengths. Although the central part of the curve varies little with solar activity, the long- and short-wavelength sections can be very considerably affected. The radiation intensity at visible and infrared wavelengths compares with that of a black body at a temperature of about 6000 K; the maximum intensity occurs at wavelengths of about 460 nm. This is the continuous spectrum of the photosphere in which absorption lines – Fraunhofer lines – appear. At the shortest and longest wavelengths, the solar spectrum corresponds to the radiation curve of a black body at about a million kelvin, which is representative of the temperatures of the corona and of solar flares. At ultraviolet and soft X-ray wavelengths the spectrum does not agree with either of these black-body curves. See also flash spectrum.
solar spectrum[′sō·lər ′spek·trəm]
The spectrum of the sun's electromagnetic radiation extending over the whole electromagnetic spectrum, from wavelengths of 10-9 centimeter to 30 kilometers.
The bandwidth of radiant energy—from long wave to short wave. It consists of radio waves, microwaves, visible light (red and violet), ultraviolet rays, X rays, and gamma rays. See electromagnetic spectrum.