Bhattacharya, Bidushi W. M. Keck Science Department, Claremont McKenna-Pitzer-Scripps Colleges, Claremont, California.
Last reviewed:February 2019
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- Differences from optical astronomy
- Infrared technology
- Astronomical targets
- Asteroids and comets
- Ordinary stars and galaxies
- Brown dwarfs
- Young stellar objects
- Evolved stars
- Starburst and ultraluminous infrared galaxies
- Redshifted radiation
- Ground-based infrared astronomy
- Infrared space missions
- 1970s and 1980s
- 2010s and 2020s
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The field of astronomical observations specializing in detecting photons from the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Infrared astronomy plays an important role particularly in the study of cooler astrophysical objects, ranging from asteroids and comets to exoplanets and developing stars. These objects emit brightly in the infrared, although they may be veiled by clouds of dust that conceal their presence at shorter, optical wavelengths. Infrared astronomy thus affords researchers an opportunity to study phenomena that would go unseen if relying on just visible light (Fig. 1). See also: Asteroid; Comet; Exoplanets; Galaxy; Light; Star
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