Page 4, LIGHT & ASTRONOMY: [Previous Page] [Next Page] [Class Home Page] Text Pages 61-63

Atmospheric Windows

    Below we show the electromagnetic spectrum again, from Gamma-Rays on the left (the most powerful, shortest wavelength) over to the Radio on the right (the longest wavelength). However, we are also showing the transmission of different kinds of radiation through the Earth's Atmosphere.

    Luckily, Gamma-Rays, X-Rays and most UV light can not penetrate the Earth's Atmosphere. Also, most Infrared light can not penetrate. This means, in order for astronomers to observe extra-terrestrial sources of such emission, we must get ABOVE the atmosphere!