Glossary term: Infrared (IR)

Also known as Infrared radiation or IR

Description: Infrared light is electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths longer than those of visible light but shorter than microwave and radio waves. Infrared light has wavelengths in the range of 700 nanometers to one millimeter while visible light has wavelengths from around 400–700 nanometers. Infrared light is therefore invisible to the human eye and can only be seen with special cameras. Thermal bodies with temperatures of tens to a few thousand kelvins, such as molecular clouds in space, the human body, or brown dwarfs, have their peak electromagnetic emission in infrared light.

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Term and definition status: This term and its definition have been approved by a research astronomer and a teacher

The OAE Multilingual Glossary is a project of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) in collaboration with the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The terms and definitions were chosen, written and reviewed by a collective effort from the OAE, the OAE Centers and Nodes, the OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) and other volunteers. You can find a full list of credits here. All glossary terms and their definitions are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-4.0 license and should be credited to "IAU OAE".