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The results of the optical study of the plasma jet of the cathode spot of a freely burning vacuum arc with copper electrodes at a current of 60 A are given, as well as of the arc stabilized with a uniform axial magnetic field of induction up to 0.18 T. The axial and radial profiles of radiation intensity for different ionization states of copper - the atom and the single and double ions - were studied. The profiles of the distribution temperatures of the atom and the single ion were determined. The temperature of electrons is estimated on the periphery of the jet. The obtained results are discussed and compared with those of a mathematical simulation.