MadSci Network: Astronomy

Re: Electromagnetic frequencies eminating from earth itself.

Date: Tue Dec 19 00:22:07 2000
Posted By: Vladimir Escalante-Ramírez, Faculty, Institute of Astronomy, National University of Mexico
Area of science: Astronomy
ID: 973845539.As

Of course. The electromagnetic spectrum covers radiation of every 
frequency from radio to gamma rays. Visible light (from red to blue) 
is one form of electromagnetic radiation. Radio waves are another. 
The Earth produces IR radiation mostly, but also a little bit 
of visible (forest fires, city lights beside the reflected 
light from the Sun, which makes it visible from space), and 
of course radio waves from TV and radio stations. Molecules and 
atoms in the atmosphere produce radiation in the microwave, 
optical and ultraviolet frequencies. Electrons and other fast 
particles hitting the atmosphere also produce radiation in 
the ultraviolet and visible in the form or auroras near the 
poles. Thunderstorms not only produce radiation at almost every 
frequency, but also gamma rays as was recently discovered. 

Vladimir Escalante Ramirez

[Moderator's note:  In addition to all the sources listed above, the earth 
itself produces small amounts of radiation at every wavelength.  But the "peak" 
is in the infrared; the sources listed above will actually dominate at all 
other wavelengths.]

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