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If sunlight is passed through a prism it decomposes in a range of colors similar to those that can be observed in a rainbow (orange red, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet).

This color gamut is called the visible light spectrum. The rainbow is a natural spectrum produced by meteorological phenomena.

The first correct explanation of this phenomenon was given in 1666 by British mathematician and physicist Isaac Newton.

But, in general terms, the spectrum is the entire range of electromagnetic radiation, ranging from gamma rays to radio waves.

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ESO (observatory)Spectroscopy