This resource lets students interactively explore astronomical images produced from four types of telescopes: radio, infrared, x-ray, and visible-light. Image sets include the Milky Way, the crab nebula, a supernova, and the most luminous star in our galaxy. Students can easily compare how the various telescopes detect different wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation. (Includes background information and discussion questions.)
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Editor's Note:See Related Materials on this page for a link to an "Infrared Gallery" by the same authors. This collection features infrared images of objects on earth, including hot springs, animals, and Old Faithful geyser.
Metadata instance created
June 18, 2009
by Caroline Hall
September 5, 2014
by Caroline Hall
Last Update when Cataloged:
March 28, 2009
AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)
3. The Nature of Technology
3A. Technology and Science
6-8: 3A/M2. Technology is essential to science for such purposes as access to outer space and other remote locations, sample collection and treatment, measurement, data collection and storage, computation, and communication of information.
4. The Physical Setting
6-8: 4F/M8. There are a great variety of electromagnetic waves: radio waves, microwaves, infrared waves, visible light, ultraviolet rays, X-rays, and gamma rays. These wavelengths vary from radio waves, the longest, to gamma rays, the shortest.
11. Common Themes
6-8: 11D/M3. Natural phenomena often involve sizes, durations, and speeds that are extremely small or extremely large. These phenomena may be difficult to appreciate because they involve magnitudes far outside human experience.
Next Generation Science Standards
Disciplinary Core Ideas (K-12)
Electromagnetic Radiation (PS4.B)
A wave model of light is useful for explaining brightness, color, and the frequency-dependent bending of light at a surface between media. (6-8)
However, because light can travel through space, it cannot be a matter wave, like sound or water waves. (6-8)
Electromagnetic radiation (e.g., radio, microwaves, light) can be modeled as a wave of changing electric and magnetic fields or as particles called photons. The wave model is useful for explaining many features of electromagnetic radiation, and the particle model explains other features. (9-12)
Crosscutting Concepts (K-12)
Scale, Proportion, and Quantity (3-12)
Using the concept of orders of magnitude allows one to understand how a model at one scale relates to a model at another scale. (9-12)
NGSS Nature of Science Standards (K-12)
This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.
Topic: Nature and Behavior of Light Unit Title: Electromagnetic Radiation and the Spectrum
Over the past 100 years, there has been a revolution in our ability to understand light and its various forms of radiation. This image collection, produced especially for Teachers' Domain, is a fascinating glimpse of stars, the Milky Way, and the crab nebula, photographed using four different telescopes. Students can compare how these objects look in visible light, infrared, x-ray, and radio imaging.
PBS Learning Media: Astronomical Images in Different Wavelengths. (2009, March 28). Retrieved March 1, 2015, from WGBH Educational Foundation: http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/phy03.sci.ess.eiu.chandra/astronomical-images-in-different-wavelengths/
PBS Learning Media: Astronomical Images in Different Wavelengths. Boston: WGBH Educational Foundation, 2002. 28 Mar. 2009. 1 Mar. 2015 <http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/phy03.sci.ess.eiu.chandra/astronomical-images-in-different-wavelengths/>.
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%0 Electronic Source %D March 28, 2009 %T PBS Learning Media: Astronomical Images in Different Wavelengths %I WGBH Educational Foundation %V 2015 %N 1 March 2015 %8 March 28, 2009 %9 application/flash %U http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/phy03.sci.ess.eiu.chandra/astronomical-images-in-different-wavelengths/
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A related image set of images produced by infrared photography, also by the same authors. It features images of objects on earth: coffee cup, ice cubes, warm and cold-blooded animals, hot springs, and more.