Bhattacharya, Bidushi W. M. Keck Science Department, Claremont McKenna-Pitzer-Scripps Colleges, Claremont, California.
- Differences from optical astronomy
- Infrared technology
- Astronomical targets
- Ground-based infrared astronomy
- Infrared space missions
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The field of astronomical observations specializing in detecting photons from the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. This field plays an important role in the study of cooler astrophysical objects ranging from asteroids and comets to exoplanets, stars, and galaxies. These objects emit brightly in the infrared, although they may veiled by clouds of dust that conceal their presence at shorter, optical wavelengths. The infrared portion of the spectrum spans the range from the red limit of human vision [approximately 0.7 micrometer (μm)] to the shortest wavelengths accessible to heterodyne radio receivers (several hundred micrometers). Recent advances in infrared detector technology have provided fundamental new insights into the characteristics of astrophysical objects. See also: Electromagnetic radiation; Infrared radiation
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