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Infrared Webcam Hack - Using infrared light to observe the world in a new way

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ESA / Education / Expedition: Home

Our eyes can’t see infrared light, but we can use an infrared camera to see this ‘invisible’ light. In this activity you are going to make an infrared camera by hacking a normal (old) webcam.You can also try to use the front camera of your phone to see the invisible light of the remote control.

Download full classroom activity (with answers):

It needs adult supervision.

Keywords: Earth observation, Infrared light, Satellite imagery, Physics, Geography


• Printed worksheet or to be consulted in the computer
• 1 webcam with a manual focus ring on the front
• 1 pin or scalpel
• 2 pieces of exposed photographic film or polarising filter (optional)
Infrared webcam hack - using an infrared webcam to observe the world in a new way - classroom demonstration video, VC15.
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