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The Electromagnetic Spectrum header graphic

What is it?

The electromagnetic spectrum is more familiar to you than you might think. The microwave you use to heat your food and the cell phones you use are part of the Electromagnetic Spectrum. The light that our eyes can see is also part of the electromagnetic spectrum. This visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum consists of the colors that we see in a rainbow - from reds and oranges, through blues and purples.

Each of these colors actually corresponds to a different wavelength of light.

Waves in the electromagnetic spectrum vary in size from very long radio waves the size of buildings, to very short gamma-rays smaller than the size of the nucleus of an atom.

Diagram of the electromagnetic spectrum showing the relationship of wavelengths from radio to gamma waves.

To tour the electromagnetic spectrum, follow the links below!

RADIO WAVES | MICROWAVES | INFRARED | VISIBLE LIGHT | ULTRAVIOLET | X-RAYS | GAMMA RAYS



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NASA Official: Ruth Netting
Last Updated: February 25, 2011
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