In order to understand how we study the universe, we need to talk a little bit about light. Light is a form of energy. Its wavelength tells us its energy and color. Spectroscopy allows us to analyze those colors and determine an object’s temperature, density, spin, motion, and chemical composition.

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Table of Contents
Light is a Form of Energy 0:39
Wavelength Tells Us Its Energy and Color 0:59
Spectroscopy 7:28

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PHOTOS/VIDEOS
Wavelengths http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/educators/gammaraybursts/starchild/Image6.gif [credit: Imagine the Universe! / NASA]
Observatories across spectrum http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/Images/science/observatories_across_spectrum_full.jpg [credit: Imagine the Universe! / NASA]
Red hot spiral hotplate http://freefoodphotos.com/imagelibrary/cooking/slides/hot_electric_cooker.html [credit: freefoodphotos.com]
The Crab Nebula http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebula#/media/File:Crab_Nebula.jpg [credit: NASA, ESA, J. Hester and A. Loll (Arizona State University)]
Building the Space Telescope Imaging Spectograph http://imgsrc.hubblesite.org/hu/gallery/db/spacecraft/18/formats/18_print.jpg [credit: NASA]
VST images the Lagoon Nebula http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagoon_Nebula#/media/File:VST_images_the_Lagoon_Nebula.jpg [credit: ESO/VPHAS+ team]
Jupiter http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/414987main_pia09339.jpg [credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute]
Venus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_Venus#/media/File:Venuspioneeruv.jpg [credit: NASA - NSSDC Photo Gallery Venus]
Ring Around SN 1987a, image 1 http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/opo9714e/ [credit: Jason Pun (NOAO) and SINS Collaboration]
Ring Around SN 1987a, image 2 http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/opo9714a/ [credit: George Sonneborn (GSFC) and NASA/ESA]