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Our glorious universe
Our glorious universe The universe is filled with electromagnetic radiation that can provide us with information about what exists out there, but much of this radiation is blocked and disturbed by the Earth's atmosphere. The space age has given us a new opportunity of observing the universe more clearly than ever before. Scientists today place telescopes in space, above Earth's interfering atmosphere. In the articles that follow, we will be considering what we can learn by interpreting cosmic radiation, and we shall give examples of space probes that are being used to make observations of it.
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Our glorious universe
Our universe is filled with electromagnetic radiation - light, ultraviolet radiation, X-rays, infrared radiation, microwaves, radio waves, etc. Using telescopes and detectors, we can detect this radiation and obtain pictures and information about the sun, other stars, other planets, galaxies, black holes and we can even get a picture of what the universe looked like right after it had come into existence in the Big Bang.
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AMS – Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer
By means of Norwegian technology, among other things, AMS-2 searches for antimatter and dark substance in space. This is a link in finding an answer to some of the greatest riddles of the universe, i.e. how the whole thing came into being and how it has developed.
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The Hubble space probe
The Hubble space probe is a joint project between ESA and NASA. It was launched in 1990 and will probably be operational until at least 2015. From its orbit around the Earth about 600 km above the disturbing atmosphere, Hubble can take images 5 times sharper than the best telescopes we have on the ground. The Hubble telescope has given us clearer images of the universe than we have ever had before.
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The Planck space probe
The Planck space probe is a European space probe that was launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou in French Guiana in 2009. It is located 1.5 million kilometers away from us, in the shadow of the Earth from the sun in a place called the Lagrange 2 point. The space probe is studying electromagnetic radiation that has been travelling through the universe without colliding with anything almost ever since the Big Bang. The Planck space probe is quite appropriately named after the German physicist Max Planck (1858-1947), who in 1918 won the Nobel Prize for his studies of electromagnetic radiation.
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The Herschel Space probe
The Herschel space probe is a European space probe that was launched together with the Planck space probe in 2009. By studying light in the infrared spectrum, light that has too little energy for us to be able to perceive it with our eyes or optical telescopes, Herschel studies among other things the formation of stars and galaxies. The probe is named after Sir William Herschel, who, among other things, is the discoverer of the planet Uranus. He is also the discoverer of infrared light and he was also the first one to prove that our solar system moves through space.
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Electromagnetic radiation
Using telescopes and detectors more and more space probes are studying electromagnetic radiation from space. The radiation can be interpreted and give us information about what is out there. But what exactly is electromagnetic radiation? In this article we will explain it, and we are also going to look at some of the properties of electromagnetic radiation.
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Sarepta is provided by the Norwegian Centre for Space-related Education, www.narom.no
in co-operation with the Norwegian Space Centre, www.spacecentre.no.
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