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Study through the electromagnetic spectrum

14-15-year-old students

In this experience, we will learn that a big portion of light spectrum is hidden to our eyes and that there is a lot of information in it ...


The material for the classroom before coming to ESAC can be divided into two parts:   


The world we see is full of a huge variety of colours. We get a lot of information of our enviroment with our eyes, we watch films, read books, make buildings... everything that souround us depends directly on our sight.

However, there are other “colours” that our eyes can't see, beyond red and violet: infrared and ultraviolet. In this picture of the rainbow, taken in these three “types of light”, we see the rainbow far beyond the visible light.


Multispectral rainbow. Courtesy of Dr. A. Dominic Fortes, Earth Sciences


In addition to ultraviolet and infrared lights, there are other “colours” which are hidden from our sight. We call the whole set of “colours” the electromagnetic spectrum. We divide it in ranges, in order from the highest to the lowest energy: gamma rays, X rays, ultraviolet, visible light, infrared, microwaves, radiowaves.

Electromagnetic spectrum. Source: Wikipedia.org


Once we know there is a bunch of information that is hidden to our eyes we need to make instruments that can detect all this information. Depending on the wavelenght there are different type of detectors. These type of instruments/detectors, made by humans, allows us to obtaing a huge information of the Universe. 

Galaxy observed in different wavelenghts Credits: http://www.caosyciencia.com/img/img310712.jpg


In this Space Science Experience, your work will be guessing which image corresponds to which wavelength, for a set of astronomical objects.


Nowadays, the European Space Agency has a fleet of satellites which can observe the Universe in all the ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum. To obtain a complete information of the different process that take place around the observed astronomical objects.


Let's go to study the sky in all these “colours”!