Infrared and Visible Images
The purpose of this activity is for students to make their own three-color astronomical image using visible and infrared part of the spectrum. They are to compare and contrast the differences in each image made.
Key Science Topics
- The electromagnetic spectrum
- Physics, Grades 11-12
- May be modified for an upper-level art or computer graphics course
Student Prior Knowledge
- Students should know the parts of the electromagnetic spectrum and characteristics of each.
- Students should know that when discussing the electromagnetic spectrum, “redder” means longer wavelength and “bluer” means shorter wavelength.
- Students should know that combining red, green, and blue light produces white light.
- Photons are packets of light.
- One computer per student or pair of students.
- DS9 free image manipulation program.
- Power Point Slide of the Orion Nebula in visible and infrared wavelengths. The image is provided in the student handout, but is included in a Power Point as it may be cost prohibitive to print the student handout in color.
- Lesson Guide and student worksheet
- Powerpoint slide of the Orion Nebula in visible and IR wavelengths
- For more information on using DS9, please visit the following DS9 tutorials by Dr. Luisa Rebull, research astronomer at the Spitzer Science Center/IPAC/Caltech.
The DS9 image display program can be downloaded at no cost from the following website: http://chandra-ed.harvard.edu/install.html
There are many wonderful educational tools and resources at the Chandra Education Data Analysis Software and Activities; There is a lesson on how to make three-color images using a few selected images from Chandra’s database. The user is limited to only those objects and must download another program, ImageJ, to produce the final image. This lesson describes how to make a three-color image using only DS9.
- 1 x 3-color visible image
- 1 x 3-color infrared image
Published: 06 August, 2013