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Optical window

In astronomy, the term optical window refers to a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that passes through the atmosphere all the way to the ground. Most EM energy never makes it through the atmosphere, so this is like a window that lets in just a little of what's out there. It is called "optical" because the wavelengths we can see are all in this range. The window runs from around 300 nanometers (ultraviolet-C) at the short end up into the range the eye can use, roughly 400-700 nm and continues up through the visual infrared to around 1100 nm, which is thermal infrared.

There is another window called the "radio window" that lets through some (not all) radio waves. The radio window runs from about one centimeter to about eleven meter waves.



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