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2: Overview
Main Menu > 2: Energy From The Sun > EM Spectrum Cards > Near Infrared  
Near Infrared
Near Infrared waves
Wavelength: 0.8 to 3 microns (a micron or micrometer is one millionth of a meter). Smoke  particles are about half a micrometer in size.
Energy per photon: 1 electron volt
Harmful Effects: Generally safe, very high intensity can heat tissue.

Emitted by:

  • TV remote controls
  • The Sun
  • Stars
  • Plants with chlorophyll (highly reflective in near infrared)
  • Laser diodes used in fiber optics for telephone communication
  • Computer ports with infrared ports

Detected by:

  • TVs
  • Digital cameras
  • Many video cameras
  • Printers with infrared receivers
  • Computers
  • Infrared astronomy cameras
The Sun
Image courtesy of NOAO/AURA/NSF.

Remote control


Plants with chlorophyll
Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF). Photo courtesy of Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation.
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