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The emergence of astrophysics as a discipline is of great significance to the history of modern astronomy. The late nineteenth century saw astrophysicists struggling to be taken seriously by classical astronomers. This paper looks at a key development in the professionalization of astrophysics: the introduction of the Astrophysical Journal and its connection to the rise of astrophysics. The Astrophysical Journal was the most important of the new publications that acted as a clearinghouse for articles on astrophysics and laboratory spectroscopy. Of greater consequence, however, was the new journal's representation of the status of astrophysics within the larger realms of astronomy and science in general.
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