- What Causes Infrared?
A lot of the infrared radiation we detect in the Universe is caused by dust. Dust
particles are heated by higher energy radiation (like visible and ultraviolet light)
and then re-emit the heat as infrared light.
- Good Places to Find Infrared Sources: Infrared images show the distribution of heat. All warm objects give off
infrared. Infrared light emission is found in regions of space where large amounts
of gas and dust are condensing to form new stars, so called "stellar nurseries."
- Infrared is absorbed almost completely in the lower layers of
the Earth's atmosphere. For this reason, infrared astronomy has to be conducted from
the highest mountain tops or airplanes.
- Unlike visible light, infrared shows through dust clouds in our
Galaxy. So objects like the center of our galaxy, which we can't see in visible light
because dust clouds are in the way, can be "seen" by looking at the infrared
light given off.