Thursday, October 04, 2012

The Electromagnetic Universe

It's no coincidence that our eyes are adapted to see visible light. Our sun radiates most of its light in the visible range; if our eyes adapted to almost any other wavelength, our days would be much darker. 

And yet, visible light only represents a small fraction of all the light in the universe. Modern astronomy has allowed us to see the cosmos in every wavelength from radio waves to gamma rays, and has revealed a far more dynamic universe than our eyes could ever see unaided. 

This week on the Physics Buzz podcast, we'll take a brief tour of the universe, via the electromagnetic spectrum. And, we'll touch on some important questions about light. Like what does it mean for light to have a wavelength? If light is a wave, where do photons fit in? What exactly is the electromagnetic spectrum?

And while you're listening, enjoy some of these amazing images of the universe in all it's multi wavelength glory:

The above image shows star cluster NGC 192 in X-ray, infrared and ultraviolet light, courtesy of images collected by three different telescopes.

An amazing NASA resource for learning about the electromagnetic spectrum and what each wavelength has to offer.

The Milky Way: multi-wavelength.

The Cool Cosmos multi-wavelength site is SO COOL! Seriously, check out side-by-side images of planets, galaxies, and more universal objects in multiple wavelengths. And, learn about how scientists study the cosmos in different wavelengths.

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