Using the Web

1.
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Go to NASA’s “Astronomy Picture of the Day” (APOD) Web page (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101027.html), and study the picture of the Andromeda Galaxy in visible light and in ultraviolet light. Which light represents a hotter temperature? What differences do you see in the two images? Go to the APOD archive (http://apod.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/apod/apod_search), and enter “false color” in the search box. Examine a few images that come up in the search. What does false color mean in this context? What wavelength(s) were the pictures exposed in? What is the color-coding; that is, what wavelength does each color in the image represent?
2.
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Crime scene investigators may use different types of light to examine a crime scene. Search on “forensic lighting” in your browser. What wavelengths of light are used to search for blood and saliva? For fingerprints? Why is it useful for an investigator to have access to different kinds of light? Search on “forensic spectroscopy” and select a recent report. How is spectroscopy being used in crime scene investigations?
3.
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Using Google Images or an equivalent website, search on “night vision imaging” and “thermal imaging.” How do night-vision goggles and thermal-imaging devices work differently from regular binoculars or cameras?
4.
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The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) uses several types of imaging devices to screen passengers in airports. Search on “TSA imaging” in your browser. What wavelengths of light are being used in these devices? What concerns do passengers have about some of these imaging devices?
5.
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Go to the NASA Earth Observations (NEO) website (http://neo.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/Search.html?group=72), and look at the current map of Earth’s albedo (click on “albedo” in the menu for “energy” or “land” if it didn’t come up). Compare this map with those of 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 months ago. Which parts of Earth have the lowest and highest albedos? In which parts do the albedos seem to change the most with the time of the year? Would you expect ice, snow, oceans, clouds, forests, and deserts to add or subtract in each case from the total Earth albedo? Which parts of Earth are not showing up on this map?

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