Describing The Universe

The Electromagnetic Spectrum and Telescopes

What is Astronomy?

Astronomy is the scientific study of the universe. The value of astronomy is important humans because astronomers can see what's going on in space. They can also find new things in space like new stars, black holes, nebulas and planets. By studying astronomy astronomers discover new information of the origin of the Earth. Astronomy also helps with the studies of the stars that can lead up to new energy. If we didn't have astronomy it would be a big mess because if we didn't have astronomy astronomers wouldn't be able to warn us about asteroids or meteors that can come close to earth.


1. Identify the visable and nonvisible parts of the electromagnetic spectrum.

2. Compare refracting telescopes and reflecting telescopes.

3. Explain how telescopes for nonvisible electromagnetic radiation differ from light telescopes.

Astronomy Vocabulary

Describe the Electromagnetic Spectrum

The Electromagnetic Spectrum can be both visible and invisible. An Electromagnetic Spectrum is all wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation. They have similarities like both being in the form of radiation, traveling in wavelengths and both being energy. All light travels at the same speed. Energy that comes from stars like light is used to study the universe. Visible wavelengths have short wavelengths that are blue and violet. The longer the wavelengths are there color is red or orange. Each of the wavelengths has a a different color. When the light passes threw a prism it is broken into sets of colors that are visible to the human eye.Invisible wavelengths have wavelengths that are shorter than violet and longer then red cannot be seen. Visible waves include the infrared, microwaves, radio waves, gamma, ultraviolet and x-rays to see theses waves you need a special instruments to detect them.
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Compare the Refracting and the Reflecting Telescopes

Refracting and Reflecting telescopes have their similarities like both being telescopes. Both the refracting and reflecting telescopes are both optical telescopes. They are also both instruments that collect electromagnetic radiation. The Refracting Telescope uses lenses to gather and focus light from distant objects. A Refracting Telescope contains clear lenses. The lenses refract the light to become a magnified eyepiece. The lense focuses the light on different colors of light at different distances. The Reflecting Telescope uses curved mirrors to gather and focus light. The second mirror reflects light to the eye piece. It also has lenses that can magnify and focus the image. The mirrors are also used to see the image. Lastly a Reflecting telescope can gather more light then a Refracting Telescope.
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Invisible Light Telescopes

For invisible light telescopes electromagnetic radiation provides scientist with information about the universe. Scientists have developed telescopes that can detect invisible radiation like the invisible light telescope. There was the some problems with using the telescopes because the Earths atmosphere was acting like a shield so it couldn't detect the electromagnetic radiation. Water vapor in the atmosphere prevents Gamma Rays, X-Rays and most of the infrared and ultraviolet rays from reaching the Earths surface. The only way to study radiation is threw space , also by using the invisible light telescopes.
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Space Based Telescopes

Space based telescopes are also important like invisible light telescopes. Valueable information has came from spacecrafts. Spacecrafts that have telescopes and instrument are being launched into space. Those spacecrafts investigate many things in space like planets, stars and other distant objects that are in the universe. In space the atmosphere of the Earth cannot interfere with the electromagnetic radiation, that's why they used a space based telescope.
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