Tag Archives: wavelength

The Atomic Spectrum

Astronomers know that if white light passes through a prism and is bent, it’s separated out into its component colors—the colors of the rainbow. Astronomers also know that when light interacts with atoms, the building blocks of the universe, the … Continue reading

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Stars and Radiation

Stars are hot. Really hot. Hot enough to have energy to spare for their planets. If our star wasn’t hot, we couldn’t live on Earth. And our star isn’t even particularly hot for a star. It’s a middle-aged star of … Continue reading

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Atoms and Radiation

Everything we know about space comes from radiation. Now wait just a moment here. That statement explains how astronomy is such a successful field of science—it’s based entirely on the information we can glean from radiation, after all. But how … Continue reading

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Infrared & High-Energy Astronomy

You probably recognize this image. You see something like it whenever you look up at the sky. Some days are clearer than others—some, you might even see a completely blue sky—but regardless, you know that this is an image of … Continue reading

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Radio Astronomy: Advantages

Whoa…what’s this thing? It’s a radio telescope, the largest in the world. It’s so huge that a normal support system can’t support its weight. So it’s basically suspended between three mountaintops. It’s 300 m across, which is 1000 feet. It’s … Continue reading

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Radio Astronomy: Limitations

Astronomy is a labor of love, and radio astronomy is no different. As I covered in my last post, radio astronomy deals with the longest wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum (a spectrum that includes visible light). Radio waves are not sound … Continue reading

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Radio Astronomy

Ever seen one of these before? Yeah, it’s a bit bigger than your average radio antenna. That’s because its job isn’t to direct radio signals to your house. It’s a radio telescope, and its job is to collect as many radio … Continue reading

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Light Pollution

This photo was taken at night. Seriously. At night. But…it looks too bright for the night. I’ll bet I wouldn’t even have to shine a flashlight to see my way around here. Need proof? Here’s New York City during the … Continue reading

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The Spectrum of Light

Does this look familiar? People think of rainbows as a symbol of happiness and fortune. There are even myths that leprechauns hide gold at the end of a rainbow. That’s more of a tease than good fortune, if you ask … Continue reading

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