The Kid Should See This

What is light? Royal Observatory Greenwich explains…

Watch more with these video collections:

Light is a strange thing. It isn’t just what we can see; light can be broken up into different types and we call the whole family “the electromagnetic spectrum,” so even when it’s dark, light is still all around us.

Learn about visible light as well as the light we can’t see, including high-frequency gamma rays, x-rays, and ultraviolet light, and lower frequency infrared, microwaves, and radio waves, with this Royal Observatory explainer from Slurpy Studios Animation.

types of light
As the Royal Observatory Greenwich explains, “Humankind has invented lots of different instruments to show us where our eyes can’t see,” from giant optical telescopes that gather visible light, like the Giant Magellan Telescope, to radio telescopes that “collect weak radio light waves, bring it to a focus, amplify it and make it available for analysis.” Two other examples from the video above:

The Royal Observatory is overrun with squirrels. They’re hard to miss during the day because they reflect visible light from the Sun but at night it’s more difficult. However, they do emit infrared light and if our eyes could detect it we would be able to see them in the dark. If we pass high-energy x-rays through them the squirrels look very different.

technologies for how we see
infrared light
Related reading at How Stuff Works: How Light Works. Plus, at Khan Academy: Introduction to Light.

Watch more from the Royal Observatory Greenwich:
β€’ How do we measure the universe?
β€’ How do we know how old the sun is?
β€’ How shadows on other worlds would behave differently than on Earth

Plus, all kinds of waves and light, including The Spitzer Space Telescope, one of NASA’s β€˜Great Observatories’ and A Visual History of Light, animated.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

Why Are Scorpions Fluorescent?

Rion Nakaya

Where does Space begin?

Rion Nakaya

What semi-secret spider trick can help us save birds?

Rion Nakaya

What is multiwavelength astronomy?

Rion Nakaya

Urban Flipper at Place des CΓ©lestins: FΓͺte des Lumiere 2011

Rion Nakaya

This Is A Film About The James Webb Space Telescope

Rion Nakaya

The World in UV

Rion Nakaya

The Spitzer Space Telescope, one of NASA’s β€˜Great Observatories’

Rion Nakaya

The dazzling fluorescent colors of corals under actinic lights

Rion Nakaya

Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox.