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ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light - Windows to the Universe

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light


Click on cartoon to see how different a flower can look to a bee

Bees can see ultraviolet light. This is a type of light beyond violet or purple and is responsible for causing us to get a sunburn if we stay out in the sun too long.

Click on the cartoon to see how different a flower can look to a bee in ultraviolet light compared to it's rather plain appearance to us in visible light.

There are other forms of light (called radiant energy). Some carry information to us about violent explosive events in the universe, some tell us about the birth of stars, others tell us how our sun changes over time. All these views of the world would be ours, if we could just see beyond the limits of human vision. Modern technology gives us these views.

But first we have to understand where radiant energy comes from.



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Our online store includes fun classroom activities for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!

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About 90% of the ozone in the Earth's atmosphere is found in the region called the stratosphere. This is the atmospheric layer between 16 and 48 kilometers (10 and 30 miles) above the Earth's surface....more

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

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