Seeing the Universe

But these telescopes do much more than send back pretty pictures.

On Chandra, for example, there are 2 sets of gratings, which sit in rings behind the main mirrors.

 

Using them, light can be precisely broken down by wavelength and energy, and that, as we've seen, provides clues to the temperature and composition of the object which created the x-ray light.

Down at the "ACIS" detector-one of the 2 cameras on board Chandra-the different energies of light fall on different CCD's, allowing the researchers to analyze the x-ray source in detail.

 

It's amazing how much researchers can learn about objects millions of light years distant... what the temperatures are... what elements made the light... how old it is, and much more.

 

WANT TO LEARN MORE?

Electromagnetic Spectrum
The electromagnetic spectrum explained in simple terms using real-life examples.

Imagine the Universe
An introduction on the electromagnetic spectrum including why we need to go into space to see the entire spectrum.

Electromagnetic Spectrum
This site explains each type of electromagnetic radiation, its uses and the dangers from too much exposure to the radiation.

Interactive Multimedia Adventures for Grade-school Education Using Remote Sensing (IMAGERS)
A simple explanation of electromagnetic radiation including each type of radiation, how we "see" using that type of radiation and what that type of radiation shows us.

NASA's Observatorium
An introduction to the electromagnetic spectrum.

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