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absorption and emmission lines from distant stars

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    what dictates whether we get absorption lines or emission lines?
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    With stars we usually get absorption lines, with other bodies such as nebula we get emission lines. have a look here for more info:
    http://www.astronomynotes.com/light/s5.htm
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    Well that would depend on the equpment we are using to look at the stars. But absorption lines are just the negative of emmission lines, so if you have one, we can easily produce the other.

    Is there anymore context to your question?
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    (Original post by Fleming92)
    Well that would depend on the equpment we are using to look at the stars. But absorption lines are just the negative of emmission lines, so if you have one, we can easily produce the other.

    Is there anymore context to your question?
    no not really thats pretty much my question its just that my teacher was telling us we receive absorption line spectrums from stars if theres gas and dust obstructing our view of the star and emission line spectra when theres no obstruction is this true?
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    I think your teacher's right - the gas and dust particles would absorb some of the light, so you would get absorbtion line spectra.
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    thanks for all your comments guys, i think i get it now

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Updated: May 18, 2012
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