How was heliums existence was confirmed in the sun possible?

Helium, the second most abundant element in the universe, was discovered on the sun before it was found on the earth because of spectroscopy.

Pierre-Jules-César Janssen, a French astronomer, noticed a yellow line in the sun's spectrum while studying a total solar eclipse in 1868.

Astronomers at the time were especially interested in looking at solar prominences: clouds of superheated gas that rise from the Sun's surface in huge, blazing arcs.

In 1868, the only way astronomers knew how to view solar prominences required a solar eclipse to block the rest of the Sun's light. So Janssen set off to Guntur, India, with an instrument called a spectroscope, which uses a prism to separate light into individual wavelengths.

Sir Norman Lockyer, an English astronomer, realized that this line, with a wavelength of 587.49 nanometers, could not be produced by any element known at the time. It was hypothesized that a new element on the sun was responsible for this mysterious yellow emission. This unknown element was named helium by Lockyer.

Learn more about the element helium from these links:

education.jlab.org

www.rsc.org

www.forbes.com

Tags: heliumsun