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

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ESA / Education / Teachers' Corner

Subjects: Physics, Geography 

This set of three activities will enable students to understand the electromagnetic spectrum and observe infrared radiation through the modification of a cheap webcam. It will enable discussion of how infrared radiation can be used to obtain information that is not available using visible light. Students will also analyse satellite images providing them with a context to understand why it is useful to “see”in infrared. 

Age range: 12-16 years old 

Keywords: Physics, Geography, Earth Observation, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Infrared light, Satellite imagery 

This classroom resource is part of a set of resources developed by ESA’s Education Office in collaboration with ESEROs to support the Climate Detectives project. A demonstration video accompanies this resource, with visual instructions on how to hack the webcam.

Download Teacher's guide and student activities.

Infrared webcam hack - using an infrared webcam to observe the world in a new way - classroom demonstration video, VC15.
Access the video