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2011 Exhibit of Infrared Space Telescope Images
Along the Corridor, 2nd Floor, Global Environment Hall
From August 19, 2011

The North America Nebula in visible light strangely resembles its namesake continent.
Succeed to the 2010 Exhibit of Hubble Telescope Images, the National Museum of Natural Science presents the 2011 Exhibit of Infrared Space Telescope Images to make the visitors see the entire sky better than ever before.

“The electromagnetic spectrum is the name we use when we talk about different types of radiation as a group. The parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, arranged from highest energy to lowest, are gamma rays, X-rays, ultraviolet light, visible light, infrared light, microwaves, and radio waves,” explained Dr. Chen Hui-hwa, the exhibition organizer, at the opening reception. “Infrared light lies between the visible and microwave portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Infrared light has a range of wavelengths, just like visible light has wavelengths that range from red light to violet. ‘near infrared’ is closer to the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The longer, far infrared wavelengths are about the size of a pin head and the shorter, near infrared ones are the size of cells, or are microscopic,” continued he, “Infrared is invisible to the human eye, but if we can detect it, we gain immensely valuable information about the workings of the universe. The Universe sends us a tremendous amount of information in the form of electromagnetic radiation (or light). Much of this information is in the infrared, which we cannot see with our eyes or with visible light telescopes. Only a small amount of this infrared information reaches the Earth's surface, yet by studying this small range of infrared wavelengths, astronomers have uncovered a wealth of new information. Only since the early 1980's have we been able to send infrared telescopes into orbit around the Earth, above the atmosphere which hides most of the Universe's light from us. The new discoveries made by these infrared satellite missions have been astounding. Satellites, like the Infrared Astronomy Satellite (IRAS) look up into space and measure the infrared light coming from things like large clouds of dust and gas, stars, and galaxies!”

This swirling landscape of stars is known as the North America nebula. In visible light, the region resembles North America, but in the new infrared view from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, the continent disappears.
This photography exhibition not only provides information about infrared astronomy, but also displays many featured images published by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA). Combining scientific detail and striking artistry, these stunning pictures create large-format composite views of the universe.

How the Universe developed? How it is structured? How galaxies work? The pace of discovery is breathtaking, but mysteries abound. The Universe remains a wondrous place, evolving and elegant, and elusive. Come visit 2011 Exhibit of Infrared Space Telescope Images to get some answers of your questions!