10 Mind blowing facts about Infrared Rays
Infrared rays – the invisible rays of natural sunlight, has literally thousands of applications, most of them you haven’t heard about and some of them may blow your socks off!
While you have probably heard about infrared saunas, infrared cameras and infrared heating pads, you may be surprised to learn the countless ways we use or are exposed to infrared rays everyday.
It might seem strange, but most of the light around you is invisible. Although your eye is an incredible piece of engineering, it is only able to see light at certain wavelengths, and is blind too much more light that it can see. Light is actually a form of energy that travels in waves and we can place these waves on the electromagnetic spectrum.
Infrared rays are electromagnetic radiation with longer wavelengths than those of visible light and is therefore invisible. It has a range of wavelengths that range from red light to violet.
Here are some amazing facts.
1. Almost half of the energy arriving to the Earth from the Sun comes as infrared light.
2. Anything has some heat and therefore puts out infrared light, even things like an ice cube puts out some heat.
3. Infrared light can travel through thick smoke, dust, fog, skin and even some materials.
4. In fire fighting, infrared cameras are being used to locate people or animals in heavy spots and to detect hot spots in forest fires.
5. The human skin can ‘see’ infrared light – hence why it is great for anti ageing.
6. In winter we feel comfortable with a jumper on when the temperature is set to 23 deg. In summer we are comfortable in a t-shirt when the temperature is set to 23 deg. This is because even though the air temperature is the same, the walls, ceiling, etc are radiating Far Infrared waves from the outside sunshine during the summer, which thereby causes our bodies to be warmer.
7. Couples that sleep together act as transmitters and receivers of Far Infrared rays to each other. Don’t worry, your fur babies can do this for you too!
8. Snakes and fish are two animals that use infrared light to capture their prey and protect themselves.
9. Infrared ovens were the first ovens, however they dried up the food too quickly and were thus replaced with the modern type of oven.
10. Weather satellites equipped with scanning radiometers produce thermal or infrared images, which can then enable a trained analyst to determine cloud heights and types, to calculate land and surface water temperatures and to locate ocean surface features.