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USGS CMG InfoBank: Electromagnetic Radiation

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Comment: 11:35 - 12:49 (01:14)
Source: Annenberg/CPB Resources - Earth Revealed 26. Living With Earth, Part II
Keywords: "John Everett", satellite, "remote sensing", "electromagnetic radiation", "Earth's surface", energy, "visible light", "gamma ray", X-ray, "ultraviolet radiation", "radio wave", microwave, "infrared radiation", humans, "spectral band"

Our transcription: Satellites detect these features by measuring the electromagnetic radiation emitted or reflected by Earth's surface.
The electromagnetic radiation consists of a continuous spectrum of energy.
Visible light comprises one small part of this spectrum, which also includes higher energy gamma rays, X-rays, and ultraviolet radiation.
At the other end of the spectrum lie lower energy radio waves, microwaves, and infrared radiation.
Human vision is restricted to bands of visible light.
Satellites, however, can peer into the realm of the invisible and see the full range of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Another aspect of the value of the data are the recording data in discrete spectral bands.
A lot of these bands we don't even see with our eyes.
So what we have available to us then is information in areas that are spectrally beyond what we can see with our own sensors, our own eyes.

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