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ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light


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Courtesy of NASA.

This is a picture of Jupiter taken in infrared light. The amount of infrared light tells you something about the heat being radiated into space by Jupiter. Jupiter actually emits twice as much energy as it receives from the Sun, indicating that it has some type of internal energy source. In the picture you can see places where a lot of infrared radiation is given off by Jupiter (bright white in the picture) and then other places where something is keeping the radiation from reaching us. These places appear black.

If you look at Jupiter in visible light, you will see that Jupiter is covered by clouds arranged in bands. The cloud bands that you see on Jupiter block the infrared radiation. Holes in the clouds let heat through from the deeper and hotter parts of Jupiter's atmosphere.

Click on the picture. This picture shows Jupiter in infrared light and next to Jupiter two people whose pictures were also taken in infrared light. The parts of the people not covered by clothes are radiating a lot more infrared than those parts covered by clothes. The clothes on the people and the clouds on Jupiter both block the infrared radiation.


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ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

Even though the sleeping man is no longer on the bed, you can still see where he was lying down. The heat from his body warmed up the bed sheets which are now radiating infrared light toward your eyes....more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

All warm objects radiate in the infrared. The warmer the object, the higher the frequency and intensity of the radiation. Very hot objects give off other types of radiation in addition to infrared. Click...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

Your eye is a wonderful detector of visible light. Different frequencies of light produce different sensations in the eye which we interpret as colors. Our eyes detect light by using light sensitive components...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

Imagine you found a pair of special glasses that not only gave you telescopic vision but gave you the ability to see all forms of radiant energy. The universe in visible light contains all the familiar...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

This is a volcano on the island of Miyake in Japan. It has erupted, sending hot lava and ash into the air, a total of ten times. The time after one eruption until the next occurred was about twenty years...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

The awesome power of a giant black hole was revealed by looking at this galaxy in three different types of light. The picture that you see is of Centaurus A, a very peculiar galaxy. A galaxy is just a...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

This is a plant in Gary, Indiana where power is made. We use power to run things like television sets, radios, lights, and microwave ovens. The picture looks very strange because it was taken in infrared....more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA