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Electromagnetic Radiation
(Light – the Supreme Informant!)
The Electromagnetic Spectrum
More than meets the eye!
Examples from Space!
• The distance from one wave crest to the
• Radio waves have longest wavelength and
Gamma rays have shortest!
Wavelength Units
• Meters (like on last slide and in
book, p. 613)
• More commonly in nanometers (1
nm = 10-9 meters)
• Angstroms still used
• Named for Swedish Astronomer who
first named these wavelengths
• 1 nanometer = 10 Ao
How light or
electromagnetic radiation
is used in Astronomy
• Astronomers use a tool called a
spectroscope to separate
starlight into its colors – in this
way, they can tell what a star is
made of, its temperature,
luminosity and so on…
• Astronomers can look at
astronomical objects at
different wavelengths…
of a Star