Spectroscopic evidence for the presence of helium in the sun was first obtained during a solar eclipse in 1868. A bright yellow emission line was observed and was later shown to correspond to no known element; the new element was named by J. N. Lockyer and E. Frankland from helios [Gr., = sun]. Helium was isolated (1895) from a sample of the uranium mineral cleveite by Sir William Ramsay.
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