Now that we’ve flipped the calendar page to January, it’s a chance to celebrate that 2015 has been declared the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015) by the United Nations. We don’t take this opportunity – pardon the pun – lightly. This is for several reasons. First, our jobs revolve around light. We work for NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, which is a telescope in space that observes X-rays from the Universe. X-rays are a kind of light. In fact, there are many different kinds of light, but only one that the human eye can detect naturally (called optical, or “visible,” light).
Many kinds of light: This illustration shows the range of the electromagnetic spectrum, in order of increasing frequency or energy, from radio waves, to microwave, to infrared, to visible or optical, to ultraviolet, to X rays, to gamma rays. Credits: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss
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