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More about Atomic Light Shows.

On Earth, we can use our five senses to learn about the world around us, but the primary way that we learn about more remote phenomena is through our perception of light in its various forms, and most light is produced by collisions of atoms with each other or with electrons.

The wavelength of the light produced by collisions depends on the speed of the colliding atoms, and the structure of the atom, which varies from one element to the next. Room-temperature collisions typically produce infrared light, higher speed collisions produce optical and ultraviolet light, and collisions typical of multimillion degree gases produce X-rays.

For a general introduction to the processes that produce light, see

More Info.

Image: Seacoast Signs/J. Ortega

More about Neon Signs.
Fun Facts about neon signs.

Image: Stan Richard.

More about Auroras.
Fun Facts about Auroras.

Image: NASA/CXC/NCSU/K.J.Borkowski et al.

More about Supernova Shockwaves.
Supernova Fun Facts.
  • The rapidly expanding (millions of miles per hour) matter from a supernova creates a remnant of multimillion-degree hot gas and high-energy particles several light years across that glow in radio through X-ray wavelengths for thousands of years.
  • A supernova remnant contains huge quantities of elements such as oxygen, neon, silicon, sulfur, calcium and iron that were made inside the star and expelled into space. It has been estimated that the Cas A supernova remnant contains enough calcium to make several nonillion (a million trillion trillion) glasses of milk. More on elements in the periodic table:

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"Here, There, & Everywhere" (HTE) is supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under grant NNX11AH28G issued through the Science Mission Directorate.

HTE was developed by the Chandra X-ray Center, at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, in Cambridge, MA.

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