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These wavelengths are so short that astronomers use a small unit of distance, the "Angstrom" (A), which is 0.00000001 centimeters long.

The violet limit therefore falls at 4000 A and the red limit near 7000 A or a bit longer.

(A curved mirror can create a similar image by reflection.) The speed of an electromagnetic wave in a medium depends on its wavelength.

In a crude sense, these particles, called "photons," carry the waves.

The smaller the wavelength of the photon the more energy it carries, that is, the greater the ability of the photon to act on some physical substance. You can live near a high-powered radio transmitter with no effect on you and are quite unaware of all the radio photons that constantly surround and pass through you.

The cosmogenic nuclide exposure history method is undergoing major developments in analytical, theoretical, and applied areas.

The capability to routinely measure low concentrations of stable and radioactive cosmogenic nuclides has led to new methods for addressing long-standing geologic questions and has provided insights into rates and styles of surficial processes.

Most of the energy of the Universe is transported in this way, by radiation.

The visual spectrum of light, however, is but a tiny portion of the whole picture, of a huge spectrum of radiation that extends in both directions from the edges of the rainbow.

Together they constitute the "visual spectrum" (or "optical spectrum") because it is the part of the full spectrum that is seen with the human eye.

Stand outdoors to see and feel the radiation pouring from the Sun.

If with superhuman eyes you could see beyond red, you would encounter the "infrared" -- felt as heat on the skin -- which would merge gradually into the familiar "radio" portion of the spectrum.

Shorter than violet you would see the ultraviolet, that which gives us tans and sunburns, and then you would encounter much more dangerous X-ray radiation and finally deadly gamma rays.

Here we examine the principal way in which astronomers have learned so much about the stars. Pass sunlight through a triangular prism or bounce it off the finely grooved surface of a compact audio disk and see it break merrily into a band of pure sparkling color, its "spectrum," familiar in the colors of a rainbow, in light glittering from newly fallen snow, in the rings and haloes around a partly- clouded Sun and Moon, in the flash of a cut diamond, and in so many other facets of nature.

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