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Compact Cosmos

31 30 THERADIATIONCOSMOS hidden skies for electronic eyes Our sense of sight recognizes a narrow band of electromagnetic frequencies we call visible light. Today we are able to glimpse beyond,our electronic gaze revealing incredible wonders. Radio waves have the longest wavelength. Bright in this band are the spectacular jets that stretch for thousands of lightyears from the fervid cores of active galaxies.Vast,glowing molecular clouds swathe the sky,while the radiant remains of supernovae allow peeks into the maelstrom of our galaxys heart. Raising the vibration a notch,everything seems bathed in a near uniform cosmic microwave background radiation. Perhaps a relic of the earliest epochs of the universe,small ripples may hold clues as to how todays large structures evolved. Syncopated microwaves also splash from maser fountains around new stars. At higher frequencies the stars begin to shine in the infraredfrom the youngest, coddled in warm, dusty nebulae, through bright starburst galaxies,to ageing white dwarfs and giants. On the other side of the visible lies the ultraviolet. In this realm hot stars and supergiants shine brightest and young UV galaxies blaze with newly born hot blue stars. Tenuous galactic plasma shimmers in the shortwave xraybands, while dazzling outbursts mark extreme events,possibly surrounding the gravitational maws of ferocious black holes. At greater energies still, the occasional blinding detonation of a gamma ray burster flashes, possibly the cataclysmic final roars of supermassive stars in very distant galaxies.
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