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Homework Help: Astronomy Reflection nebula Question

  1. Mar 4, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    1. If you looked at the spectrum of a reflection nebula, would you see absorption lines, emission lines, or no lines? Explain your answer. As part of your explanation, describe how the spectrum demonstrates that the light was reflected from nearby stars.

    2. Relevant equations

    Quoted from my book:

    "Reflection nebula- caused by fine grains of dust in a lower concentration than that found in dark nebulae. The light we see coming from the nebula is starlight that has been scattered and reflected by these dust grains."

    3. The attempt at a solution

    If the light is being reflected, does that mean there will be no spectral lines? I'm so lost on this one please help!
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 8, 2010 #2
  4. Mar 8, 2010 #3
    Think of it as measuring the spectrum of Sun light reflected off a white surface, it will still produce a mostly continuous spectrum. When the light travels through the nebula cloud is when you get absorption lines.

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