Saturday, May 26, 2012

Colors in space

Pinwheel in many colors!
Chandra photo album
Astronomers main evidence for the study of night sky is to examine the electromagnetic radiation that heavenly objects transmit in the Universe. Sophisticated instruments have been developed and installed either on the surface of planet Earth or on orbits in the sky to detect different wavelengths of this cosmic radiation.

The fabulous Chandra X-ray photo of the Pinwheel galaxy is a combination of light from different wavelengths.

Our eyes see also earthly objects through the light they emit or reflect or block in shadows. Many telescopes collect light in the visible range of the spectrum familiar to us from the rainbow. Other instruments have been created in order to detect light in the infra-red or ultraviolet ranges invisible to human eyes.

Branches of Astronomy by electromagnetic wavelengths

Cos B Gamma-ray telescope. NASA
  • Gamma-ray astronomy has developed into a special branch of space sciences since 1960'ies. 
  • Special receivers detect X-rays like the NASA flagship Chandra X-ray Observatory.   
  • Radio astronomy is looking - or rather listening - to EM waves emitted in the radio frequencies - in this link is an image gallery of some of worlds most important devices including sophisticated Very Large Interferometry (VLBI) systems the pride of the countries that have them. 
  • Cosmic microwave background astronomy is unravelling deep secrets of the cosmos. Currently scientists hopes are focused especially on the BICEP2 cosmic microwave background polarization experiment located at the South Pole.

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