Astrophysics (Index)About

spectral band

(set of related, closely-packed spectral lines)

The term spectral band can be used in a general way to indicate a contiguous set (interval) of spectral wavelengths.

Spectral band also has a more specific meaning: such an interval of wavelengths that are affected by a molecule, often a large, complex molecule, that produces many spectral lines, often forming a closely-packed pattern, even to the point of overlapping. If they overlap or if the spectroscope's resolution is low, it is seen as a range of absorption (absorption band) or emission (emission band).

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons produce these, e.g., PAH emissions. Water lines are another example.

Further reading:

Referenced by pages:
Breakthrough Listen (BL)
methylidyne (CH)
color-magnitude diagram (CMD)
Compton reflection
diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs)
Gunn-Peterson trough
high frequency (HF)
imaging Fourier transform spectroscopy (IFTS)
interstellar medium (ISM)
near infrared (NIR)
spectral feature
S-type star
water lines
atmospheric window