I am new to astrophysics.

There is a question about the celebrated Harvard classification.

Can people at 1900 determine the temperature of a remote star using the black body radiation formula? I mean, by fitting the continuum spectrum of a star to a black body?

The question hinges on whether people at that time could measure the continuum spectrum.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This was done for the Sun even before 1900, and does not require measuring continuous spectrum (just the peaks can be matched), nor Planck's radiation formula (Wien's was known already in 1896). hsm.stackexchange.com/questions/3404/… $\endgroup$
    – Conifold
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 1:43


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