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The Universe at Your Fingertips 2.0 DVD from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific is in our online store, filled with Earth and space science resources.

Exploratour: NASA's Exploration for Life

The Deep Space Network is an array of antennas which collects radio signals from space. Those signals may be from stars or from our own spacecraft traveling in space.
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NASA/JPL

The search for life of any kind is different than the search for intelligent life somewhere in the universe. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (called SETI for short) is an effort to distinguish signals of intelligent life from all the electromagnetic signals which bombard the Earth every day. SETI scientists are involved in a search of all the possible radio frequencies for a signal which resembles recognizable radio signals such as those from radio and television which we ourselves release into space. The signal of intelligent life may not be so complex however. Any signal which repeats in a pattern may represent the product of an intelligent form of life from somewhere. The premise of the film "Contact" was the detection of just such a signal from an intelligent species.

You may leave this tour and read more about radio signals from space by clicking this link to the stars.

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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 (not just people) radiate in the infrared. Warmer objects give off more infrared radiation. Very hot objects radiate other types of light in addition to infrared. Click on the picture...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

This is a picture of a galaxy in visible light. A galaxy is a large number of stars, some like our sun, some bigger, some smaller and all moving together through space. This galaxy is called Centaurus...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 by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF