The Magic Radio Wave Window

Radio waves register low on the energy meter Click to learn about X-Rays Click to learn about Ultraviolet radiation Click to learn about Visible Light Click to learn about Infrared radiation Click to learn about Microwaves Click to learn about Gamma Rays

Tiny DSN antenna Space Place Kids see radio waves from quasars.

Radio waves are very long and not very energetic. Radio waves can be from about the length of a football field up to 100 kilometers (60 miles) and more.

Here we see a quasar (for "quasi-stellar object") through the Magic Radio Window. Quasars look a bit like stars but are very different in many ways. They are some of the most distant objects we see, and they put out great amounts of radio energy. Astronomers think they may be the centers of active galaxies that have supermassive black holes.

Like a radio telescope, this Magic Window sees radio objects in the sky, then a computer converts that energy to colors in the visible part of the spectrum that we can see.