Thread: Science Science is Cool....
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Old 04-24-2014, 02:59 PM   #1784
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NASA's collection of data across the electromagnetic spectrum....

The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of all possible frequencies of electromagnetic radiation.

The electromagnetic spectrum extends from below the low frequencies used for modern radio communication to gamma radiation at the short-wavelength (high-frequency) end, thereby covering wavelengths from thousands of kilometers down to a fraction of the size of an atom. The limit for long wavelengths is the size of the universe itself, while it is thought that the short wavelength limit is in the vicinity of the Planck length, although in principle the spectrum is infinite and continuous.



Light waves across the electromagnetic spectrum behave in similar ways. When a light wave encounters an object, they are either transmitted, reflected, absorbed, refracted, polarized, diffracted, or scattered depending on the composition of the object and the wavelength of the light.

Specialized instruments onboard NASA spacecraft and airplanes collect data on how electromagnetic waves behave when they interact with matter. These data can reveal the physical and chemical composition of matter.

Seen here is a sample of telescopes (operating as of February 2013) operating at wavelengths across the electromagnetic spectrum. Several of these observatories observe more than one band of the EM spectrum, and those are placed within the band of their primary instrument(s).

The represented observatories are: HESS, Fermi and Swift for gamma-ray, NuSTAR and Chandra for X-ray, GALEX for ultraviolet, Kepler, Hubble, Keck (I and II), SALT, and Gemini (South) for visible, Spitzer, Herschel, and Sofia for infrared, Planck and CARMA for microwave, Spektr-R, Greenbank, and VLA for radio.
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