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

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Young Voices for the Planet DVD in our online store includes 8 films where students speak out and take action on climate change.

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

Protons are positively charged, electrons are negatively charged and neutrons have no charge. As you look down at the nucleus, you see that there are the same number of protons below you as there are electrons whizzing around above you.

Since opposite charges attract each other, the electrons are held in orbit about the nucleus by the force of their electromagnetic attraction to the positively charged protons. But as seen from outside the atom, the negative charges of the electrons exactly balance the positive charges of the protons making the atom electrically neutral.

Electrons can be knocked out of their orbits by collisions or interactions with radiant energy . The atom, now called an ion, is left with an excess of positive charge.

The secret behind radiant energy lies in the movement of charged particles within this subatomic world.


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Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...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

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