First published observation of a dispersed Solar Spectrum:
(“I have placed my rainbow in the clouds* ” - God)
Noah Ben-Lamach, Genesis 9, 13 (2104 BC**).
First published observation of a Solar Spectrum using a slit and a prism:
Isaac Newton, “Phænomena of Colours,” Optiks (1666).
(Used circular aperture rather than slit, thus missed Fraunhofer lines.)
First published observation of a dispersed line spectrum:
“Observation of Light and Colours,” Physical and
Literary Essays (
[Reprinted, J. Roy. Astron. Soc. Canada 8, 231 (1914)].
First published observation of dark lines superimposed on the Solar Spectrum:
William Hyde Wollasten, “A Method of Examining Refractive and Dispersive Powers by Prismatic
Reflection” Phil. Trans. 92, 365-80 (1802).
* Regrettably, no revelation of the Fraunhofer lines was reported. (The finite size of the raindrops smears continum light into the absorption regions.)
** Old testament progeny traced by Professor R. M. Schectman.