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Slide 1


Infrared Telescopes

Andrea, Scott, and Martín

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Infrared…wait what?!?!?

Infrared is a certain region in the light spectrum

Ranges from .7µ to 1000µ or .1mm

Broken into near, mid, and far infrared

One step up on the light spectrum from visible light

Measure of heat

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Infrared Telescopes

Infrared telescopes work much like visible light telescopes

Light hits parabolic mirror

Light is sent to focal point

Light is recorded by computer and translated into visible light

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History of Infrared

Thirty years ago images were created by crude temperature readings and simple recording devices

In 1980’s the military dedicated the first large sum of money towards infrared advancement (high background infrared)

Recently scientists have changed the technology to focus on lower background heat and high sensitivity to fit the applications needed for astronomy

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Problems with Infrared

99% of infrared rays are absorbed by water in our atmosphere

The use of airplanes, weather balloons, and space bound telescopes help to solve these problems


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Another Problemo

Everything in the universe above absolute zero radiates heat (infrared)

This means the heat from the telescope may interfere with data

Everything is cooled to almost absolute 0

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Why Do We Need Infrared Telescopes?

Infrared telescopes allow astronomers to gain information about regions in space that might otherwise remain invisible.

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These regions include

Cool states of matter

Regions obscured by clouds of dust or gas particles

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Cool States of Matter

Most solid bodies in space vary in temperature from 3 Kelvin’s to 1500 Kelvin's.

This means that extremely cool objects undetectable to the human eye can be studied using infrared telescopes.

These can include…

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