Audience: 9th Grade and older.

Description:

This slide illustrates how scientists use Spectroscopy to determine what substances are present in the atmosphere of a celestial body.

User's notes: In these charts, the dips are extremely exaggerated, especially for “the light from planet only.” In reality, such dips are very shallow, and that’s why astronomers require such big telescopes. One dip in “Light from planet only” does not correspond to either water or methane. This indicates that another atom/molecule is present in the planet's atmosphere.

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Credit

NASA/JPL-Caltech